The Natural History of Ireland Volume 1 The Golden Oriole
Oriolus gallula, Linn
This beautiful species — unlike a native of our clime — is but an occasional summer visitant.
A bird described to Mr. E. J Jail to have been the size of a thrush, and in colour, bright-yellow and black, frequented a garden between Middleton and Castlemartyr (county of Cork), Footnote 1 for some months in the summer of 1817 (?) : he had no doubt of its having been a golden oriole. In the 1st volume of the Zoological Journal (p. 590), one of these birds stated to have been shot in the county of Wexford, m May, 1823, is said to be preserved in the Museum of the Royal Dublin Society. In the Fauna of Cork (1845), we are told that " one was sent to the Institution in 1823 by Lord Bantry :" this is, I presume, the same individual that Mr. Richard Dowden told me in 1838, had been sent some years before that period to the Institution alluded to. It came under his notice in a fresh state ; and had been shot at Lord Pantry's seat, near the town of Bantry, in the county of Cork. On the 11th of May, 1824, a female of this species was shot by a gentleman of my acquaintance near Donaghadee, in the county of Down, and sent to Mr. John Montgomery of Belfast, who added it to his collection : a male bird was soon afterwards seen about the same place. Footnote 2 Dr. Burkitt of Waterford mentions a golden oriole as having been shot at Ballinamona, two miles from that city, in 1824 or 1825. I have been credibly informed that one was procured near Arklow, county of Wicklow, in the summer of 1827 (?). In a letter from Dr. Robert Graves of Dublin to a mutual friend in Belfast, dated November, 1830, it is mentioned, that a male golden oriole was shot in the preceding summer in a valley above owe of the bays of Kerry. In January 1838, I was informed of one having been shot near Gorey, county of Wexford, about a year before that time — probably in the summer of 1837 ; as in that year a male bird, accompanied by a female which escaped, was shot on a cherry tree in a garden at Ballintore near Ferns Footnote 3 it has not been positively stated whether more than the same individual be included in these two records. In Dr. Burkitt' s collection there is a male bird which was procured in June, 1838, near Woodstown, county of "Waterford. In the same year (?) one was for some time a visitant at Cahirmore, near Roxborough, co. Cork. Footnote 4
Mr. Yarrell mentions two individuals as obtained in England in the month of April, 1824, in which year one or two were procured in Ireland. The other years of their occurrence in England mentioned by this author — 1811, 1829, 1833 — are different from those in which they were met with in Ireland. The species is about equally rare in England and in this island. In Scotland, — according to Macgillivray, B. B. vol. ii. p. 76. (1839), — there is no authentic record of its occurrence. The birds mentioned by Mr. Selby as in the Museum of the University, Edinburgh, and said to have been killed on the Pentland Hills, are known to Mr. Macgillivray to have been brought from France.
In the summer and autumn of 1826, I met with the golden oriole near Rotterdam, in Holland ; in the finely wooded valley near Stanz, in Switzerland ; in different parts of Italy ; and in the royal garden at the palace of Eontainebleau, in France, where on the 30th of August, a whole family of them appeared at once, and their fine bright colours were in admirable keeping with the lovely flowers around. When sailing in H. M. S. Beacon, from Malta to the Morea, in April, 1841, a female bird of this species flew on board on the 25th, when we were about 60 miles "from Calabria, — the nearest land — and 135 from Mount Etna: on the 27th two other females alighted on the rigging and were captured; we were then 45 miles from Zante (the nearest land), and 60 from the Morea.
- Footnote 1 This is the specimen alluded to in the Fauna of Cork as from Castlemartyr.
- Footnote 2 These are the individuals alluded to by Mr. Templeton in Charlesworth's Maga-
zine of Natural History, vol. i. p. 405.
- Footnote 3 Poole.
- Footnote 4 Ball
|This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.|