Bird Families

Oropendola Montezuma, a songbird with an imperial name


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Number of species in "sister" taxa

viewOropendola green-billedPsarocolius atrovirensLafresnaye & d'Orbigny1838
familyCorpus (Kassiki, American Orioles)IcteridaeVieillot1816
suborder / suborderSingersOscines
detachment / orderPasserinesPasseriformes
superorder / superorderNew Sky Birds (Typical Birds)NeognathaePycroft1900
infraclassReal birds (Fan-tailed birds)NeornithesGadow1893
subclassCilegrud Birds (Fan-tailed Birds)Carinatae Ornithurae (Neornithes) Ornithurae (Neornithes)Merrem1813
subtype / subdivisionVertebrates (Cranial)Vertebrata (Craniata)Cuvier1800
type / departmentChordatesChordata
supertypeCoelomic animalsCoelomata
sectionBilaterally symmetrical (Three-layer)Bilateria (Triploblastica)
subkingdomMulticellular animalsMetazoa

External signs of Oropendola Montezuma

Oropendola-Montezuma is a rather large bird. The body size of males is up to 51 cm, and the weight is 521 - 562 grams. Females are smaller, on average 38 - 39 cm, body weight is 246 grams. Males and females have mostly deep chestnut feathers.
Oropendola-Montezuma (Psarocolius montezuma).
The outer tail feathers have shades of yellow. The head is black with a pale, bluish patch of skin and a pink chin. Sharp beak is black with orange patches, and in males the orange tint continues on the forehead. The plumage of young birds is the same color as in adult Oropendol, but the shades are duller and the body size is smaller, and the weight is from 230 to 520 grams.

Distribution of Montezuma's oropendola

Oropendola Montezuma extends along the Pacific coast from the Caribbean coast of Guatemala to southern Costa Rica. Found in southern Mexico.
This resident bird lives on the plains of the Caribbean coast from southeastern Mexico to central Panama.

Habitats of Oropendola Montezuma

Oropendola Montezuma lives in tropical rainforests, savannas, meadows, in areas with trees. It is found in clearings, clearings and along the edges of forests, in coastal areas, but never in dense forest. Quite often, this species of bird settles near banana plantations and bamboo thickets.

Reproduction of Oropendola Montezuma

Oropendola Montemuma breeds from January to May. During the mating season, the male attracts the female's attention, making circular movements around with turns.

The male pecks at the yellow feathers of the female's tail, while he straightens his tail.

If the female reciprocates, then mating occurs. In the colony, the dominant male mates with most of the females.

During the oviposition period, the cobirds sometimes lay their eggs in the nest of the oropendola. To prevent this, Montezuma's Oropendola chooses a tree with hornets to build its nest, which forces the Cobberds to stay away from the Oropendola's nest.
Oropendola Montezuma prefers to keep on spreading trees.
This is an example of mutualism with Oropendolas, which in turn keeps the bees at a distance from the hornets. The Oropendolas of Montezuma form large colonies, often on a single spreading tree or several trees growing side by side. One tree contains from 30 - 40 to 150 nests. There was a bird colony with a maximum number of nests of 172.

Oropendola nests are real architectural structures, woven from thin branches and banana fibers.

The nests hang in clusters on the tree, like exotic fruits 60 - 180 centimeters long. The construction of the nest takes 9-11 days. Only the female weaves it. She lays one or two eggs of white or beige color with dark spots. Incubation lasts about 15 days. Chicks can fly 15 days after hatching.

At the age of 30 days, young Oropendoles leave the nest and search for food on their own.

They become sexually mature in less than 1 month, but only mate the next year. The mortality rate among Oropendola chicks is very high. Females can mate up to three times per season, but less than half of the chicks survive.
Oropendola Montezuma breeds in colonies with about 30 nests.
Nests are often ravaged by toucans, snakes, monkeys and larvae. After the mating season, females fly in flocks until January, they can be easily identified by yellow tails flickering in the crown of trees. Males feed alone.

Features of the behavior of Oropendola Montezuma

Oropendola Montezuma are known for their strange screams and screams, which are not very pleasant to the ear, in which you can clearly hear moaning whining and clucking.

Males are much larger than females. Since this bird species is polygamous, only a small proportion of males have a chance to dominate the colony. When females build nests and are constantly in the same tree, the male moves around on branches, protecting his territory and females. The male not only drives away other males, but also gives an alarm signal in case of danger due to his dominant position.
The feathers of Oropendola-Montezuma are used by the local population.

Eating Oropendola Montezuma

Oropendola Montezuma feeds on fruits, nectar, large flowers of a plant such as balsa. Bananas are present in her diet.

He finds food in open spaces - meadows, glades.

It also eats insects and other arthropods. Catches frogs, mice and other small vertebrates. Females feed in small flocks.

Males usually feed alone. Oropendola Montezuma is in search of food throughout the day, until dark.

The significance of Montezuma's oropendola

Feathers of Oropendola Montezuma in bright chestnut and yellow are used in the manufacture of national costumes of the Indians who inhabit the Amazon jungle.

The local population puts on a festive outfit decorated with bird feathers on especially solemn occasions. National costumes are shown to tourists who simply enjoy such exoticism.
Among bird connoisseurs, Oropendola Montezuma is prized for the beauty of its feathers and loud cries.
Oropendola Montezuma lead a rather secretive lifestyle, it is rather difficult to observe them in nature, they avoid the presence of humans.

Conservation status of Oropendola Montezuma

Oropendola Montezuma is not an endangered bird species, so they do not have a special status. However, the area of ​​tropical rainforest in which birds live is sharply reduced. When developing a territory for agricultural crops, trees are simply cut down every day, and this process can hardly be stopped. Oropendola Montezuma has adapted to living in open areas, with sparse forest stands. Perhaps that is why the number of birds is currently quite stable.

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Interspecific bird conflicts are explained by competition and hybridization

Many animals jealously guard their territory from the invasion of strangers. This is logical when it comes to a representative of its own species. However, an individual belonging to a different species often becomes the object of attack. For a long time, it was believed that such interspecific territoriality was just a by-product of intraspecific territoriality. In other words, the owner attacks the stranger by mistake, mistaking him for a relative.

However, new evidence suggests that protecting an area from other species is adaptive. It can arise and persist when different species compete for a particular resource, such as food or shelter.

A team of zoologists led by Jonathan P. Drury of the University of Durham conducted a massive study of interspecies competition for territory using the example of North American passerines.After analyzing the literature, scientists found that this behavior is typical for 104 of their species. This is 32.3 percent of the total number of passerine species in North America. Thus, interspecies competition is more widespread than previously thought.

According to the authors, in most cases, birds come into conflict over territory with a representative of one specific species. There are several factors that increase the chances of forming a pair of competing species. For example, birds that live in the same biotope, have similar sizes and nest in hollows are more likely to be involved in conflicts over territory. For species belonging to the same family, another factor plays an important role - the probability of hybridization. If two species are capable of interbreeding with each other, their males are likely to react aggressively to each other.

Based on the data obtained, the researchers concluded that interspecific conflicts for territory among birds do not arise by mistake. This behavior is an adaptive response to competition for a limited resource, as well as a mechanism to prevent hybridization between closely related species.