Family Finches (Fringillidae)

Least Concern

Oriole Finch (Linurgus olivaceus)


French: Linurge loriot German: Pirolgimpel Spanish: Canario oropéndola

Coccothraustes olivaceus


, 1843,

Clarence, Bioko Island


Present arrangement of races possibly comprises more than one species, with nominate and kilimensis being quite divergent genetically (others not sampled)#R, but a more detailed and comprehensive analysis of all populations is required before determining species limits. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. o. olivaceus (Fraser, 1843) – SE Nigeria, W Cameroon and Bioko.
  • L. o. prigoginei Schouteden, 1950 – E DRCongo, extreme SW Uganda, W Rwanda and W Burundi.
  • L. o. elgonensis van Someren, 1918 – SE South Sudan, E Uganda and W & C Kenya.
  • L. o. kilimensis (Reichenow & Neumann, 1895) – extreme SC Kenya (Mt Ol Doinyo Orok, in Namanga Hills), Tanzania and N Malawi.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 18–29·5 g. Small to medium-sized, brightly coloured finch with conical bill. Male nominate race has entire head to hindcrown, chin and upper throat jet-... read more


    Song a series of variably rapid and slow musical trills interspersed with longer drawn-out whistled... read more


    Inhabits undergrowth, clearings and edges of lower montane and submontane evergreen forest and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly seeds of trees and large shrubs, including albizias, millet, nettles, figs (Ficus), cultivated tobacco plants (... read more


    Season Nov–Feb. Presumed monogamous and solitary. Nest built by female, a shallow untidy cup of moss, lichens, plant fibres and plant... read more


    Resident and partial migrant; small numbers of high-elevation breeders wander or move erratically... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Reckoned to be generally uncommon throughout, although locally common in some parts. Described as not uncommon in W portion of range (nominate race).

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2020). Oriole Finch (Linurgus olivaceus). 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 29 February 2020).