Crested Oropendola, Psarocolius decumanus

November 28, 2021 Birds, Birds from Colombia, The most beautiful places in Colombia

Crested Oropendolas (Psarocolius decumanus) live in the lowlands from Central America to Argentina. I found them on the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

While hiking in the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, I listened to them singing, but I couldn’t see them because they camouflaged pretty well. After searching the canopy with my telephoto lens, I finally located them in a distant tree, where the yellow leaves resembled the color of their tails and beaks.

Then, I noticed they were flying toward a tree loaded with plums, where I could see and photograph them better. They feed mainly on fruits, insects, and small vertebrates.

They are stunning, large, and showy birds. Their body is black, their beak is ivory, their tail is yellow, and their eyes are blue.

A dominant male in each flock protects their territory, and several females oversee the babies. They live in colonies with beautiful hanging nests built in leafy tree branches. Since I visited this area during the rainy season when the storms and strong winds raged almost every day, the nests were empty because the oropendolas were not in the breeding season.


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