The Black-headed Oriole inhabits acacia savannas, broad-leaved woodlands and montane and coastal forests, where it feeds on fruit, seeds, nectar and insects. It also recently adapted to plantations, suburban parks and gardens. Adults weigh between 60 and 80g and are about 20cm long from beak to tail-tip. They are usually seen singly or in pairs.
Black-headed Orioles breed mostly in spring and summer in South Africa. Nests are cup-shaped and built of grass, lichens and moss, usually high up in the slim forks of trees. Clutches of 2 or 3 eggs are incubated for two weeks, and the chicks fledge about two weeks after hatching.
The Black-headed Oriole occurs from Ethiopia to Angola and South Africa. In South Africa, the species is resident year-round and occurs from the Garden Route in the Western and Eastern Cape, through Kwazulu-Natal to Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and parts of the North West Province. The IUCN considers the species of least concern, siting an increasing population and expanding distribution range.