Family Old World Orioles (Oriolidae)

Least Concern

Green-headed Oriole (Oriolus chlorocephalus)


French: Loriot à tête verte German: Grünkopfpirol Spanish: Oropéndola cabeciverde

Oriolus chlorocephalus


, 1896,

Mt Chiradzulu, Malawi


See O. brachyrynchus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. c. amani Benson, 1946 – patchily in SE Kenya and E Tanzania.
  • O. c. chlorocephalus Shelley, 1896 – S Malawi and C Mozambique (Mt Chiperone).
  • O. c. speculifer Clancey#R, 1969 – SC Mozambique (Mt Gorongosa).
  • Descriptive notes

    21·5–24 cm. Male nominate race has head and neck to upper breast rich olive-green, separated from olive-green upperparts by bright yellow hindneck and upper... read more


    Song “ku-wee-oo”, “kwee-wo”, “hweet-tyoo-hweedo” or “who-... read more


    Coastal forest patches in Kenya, up to 400 m. In Tanzania, primary lowland forest, rich woodlands... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits, also some large hard seeds, and nectar; also various invertebrates, e.g. insects and their larvae. Forages alone or in pairs, from... read more


    In Malawi, pair formation in Jun, calling Aug–Feb (silent Mar–Jun), and egg-laying mainly Aug–Nov; in Tanzania, a well-... read more


    Resident, but may wander locally; some records in Malawi up to 40 km from nearest known population... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common in parts of its range of c. 22,000 km². Occurs in various protected areas, and considered therefore not at any immediate... read more

    Recommended citation

    Walther, B. & Jones, P. (2018). Green-headed Oriole (Oriolus chlorocephalus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 October 2018).