Monday, October 25, 2010

ABC Wednesday: O is for Oropendola

Oropendola. What a great name. I have no idea where it comes from, though. The birds you can see here are Crested Oropendolas (Psarocolius decumanus).
Oropendolas are Icterids, which makes them related to cowbirds and grackles for example. They breed in colonies and build woven nests that are about 4 feet (120 cm) long.
A single male mates with all the females in the colony, but there are more males there who try to find an unobserved moment with the females.
They feed on fruit and insects. I took the photos while they were fed with mealworms, this bird in particular tried to grab all he could and ended up with 12 mealworms held in his beak.
Here's a juvenile
and here you can see the feathers of the crest, it's usually not really visible
The males will attract females with a bowing display and then you can see the crest (females don't have one). Here's a video, you can also find a recording of their call on that site (which is a great resource for birds in general).

See what else O stands for at ABC Wednesday

Photo of the nest was taken at Burgers Zoo, all others at Tierpark Berlin.


RuneE said...

That beak looked both wonderful and dangerous. I suppose they need it if that in-fighting between the males take off.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific and interesting post for the O Day! Love the birds blue eyes! I don't think I've ever seen this bird before! Always love it when I learn something new! Hope your week is going well!


EG Wow said...

Love how you caught the Oropendola with 12 meal worms! There's at lest one greedy soul in every crowd! :)

Mar said...

Beautiful name and birds, I don't think I have seen one before. Clever choice for O.

ABC Wednesday: O

Roger Owen Green said...

How do you keep finding creatures I've NEVER EVEN HEARD OF?

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Babooshka said...

Completely new bird to me. Visually the blue eyes and yellow beak are amazing. Thank you for the info too.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I love the glittering blue eyes. They look quite surprised at having such a long name!

Kay L. Davies said...

I'm guessing (just guessing) the name might come from the pendulous shape of the nest.
Fantastic photos, however, and learning something new every day, too. Thanks.

Kay, Alberta

Tumblewords: said...

You come up with great posts and information. This one is fascinating, as usual. The 4' long nest is something to see, for sure!

mrsnesbitt said...

Wow! What a fantastic creature - so much character!

ABC Team

Paula Scott said...

These are really cool birds! They look like a cross between a myna bird and a parrot. What great photos and now I don't even think I can spell that bird's name without looking back at your post.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

Wow. Those blue eyes are really something.

Rambling Round said...

Now this is a funny bird! Quite interesting.

TheChieftess said...

Wow!!! I had to really stretch my imagination to come up with an O!!! You really nailed this one Jedediah!!!

Maple Leaf Mommy said...

I really enjoyed seeing such lovely photos of a bird I wasn't previously familiar with. I then went back and looked through some of your previous ABC Wednesday entries, all awesome stuff. This was wonderful to share with my young daughter. Thanks for posting it. We'll be sure to stop in again next week.