Monday, 22 April 2013

Crested oropendola

Psarocolius decumanus

Photo by Dominic Sherony (Wikipedia)

Common name:
crested oropendola (en); japu-preto (pt); cassique huppé (fr); oropéndola crestada (es); krähenstirnvogel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Icteridae

This species is found from southern Costa Rica and Panama down to Bolivia, Paraguay, southern Brazil and northern Argentina. It is only found east of the Andes mountain range.

These birds are sexually dimorphic. The females are 36-38 cm long while the males are 46-48 cm long. They weigh 155-360 g.

The crested oropendola is found in various forested habitats, including rainforests, swamp forests, savannas and dry forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.600 m.

They feed on fruits, seeds and insects, namely bananas, tangerines and papayas.

Crested oropendolas are colonial breeders and polygynous, with a dominant male than mates with most of the females. Each colony will have 3-4 males and 15-30 females.  They build large hanging nests woven from dry grasses and twigs. The nests are placed hanging from a high branch in a tree, usually along forests edges and clearings. The female lays 1-2 green or bluish-green eggs with dark blotches, which are incubated for 15-19 days. The chicks fledge 24-36 days after hatching. Each female can raise 3 broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and described as common but patchily distributed. The population is suspected to decline moderately based on current models of Amazonian deforestation.

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