Black Oropendola

Information about the Bird Black Oropendola

The black oropendola (Psarocolius guatimozinus) is a species of bird in the family Icteridae (New World blackbirds). It is found in Colombia and Panama. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

The male black oropendola grows to a length of about 46cm (18in) and the female about 39.5cm (15.6in). The sexes are similar in appearance and are mainly black, with dark chestnut back, rump, part of the wing-coverts and crissum (the area around the cloaca). There is a bluish bare patch on the cheek, edged with pink at its lowest extremity, and an orange-tipped, black beak.
The black oropendola is endemic to humid forests of northwestern South America. Its range includes northwestern Colombia, as far east as the Magdalena River, and the extreme southeastern part of Panama, a total area of occupancy of about 108,000km2 (41,700sqmi). Its altitudinal range is up to about 800m (2,620ft).
The habits of the black oropendola have been little studied but its diet probably includes insects, small vertebrates and fruit. It clambers about high in the canopy and may sip nectar from flowers. It nests colonially, with up to twenty birds constructing their nests in one tree. The eggs are pale pink, scantily blotched with reddish-brown. The black oropendola is probably polygynous, with one male mating with many females. The breeding season in Panama is February while in Colombia it is April to June.
The black oropendola has a large range and is said to be fairly common. Its population trend seems to be stable and no particular threats have been identified. For these reasons, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".

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