Saturday, March 3, 2012

Montezuma Oropendola

The Montezuma Oropendola Psaroclius montezuma is a large (41cm) colourful crow like bird that is common in middle elevated parts of Costa Rica. Its song is one of the most unforgettable sounds of the Central American rainforests. Named in honour of the 16th Century Aztec ruler, Montezuma II, this New World bird weaves his song into an elaborate courtship ritual that can be heard throughout the day during the breeding season. With his claws wrapped tightly around a branch, the male will swing forward, displaying his bright yellow tail feathers and performing his distinctive, gurgling song. The aim of this behaviour is to maintain mating privileges with the females in the colony. If the display is not up to scratch however, females will choose to mate with a superior performer.

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