There are two species of Oropendolas common in Cost Rica and at Maquenque, the Montezuma Oropendola (3 photos here) and the less common Chestnut-headed Oropendola (1 photo here). There are two more Oropendolas in Central America, both in Panama with the Crested Oropendola occasionally coming over the border into southern Costa Rica and the Black Oropendola is found only further in southern Panama. Male & female appear the same in all Oropendolas.
This week at Maquenque I observed a mother Montezuma Oropendola feeding a baby or juvenile blackbird (either a Melodious Blackbird or a Giant Cowbird if the eye is red like some said). It was interesting to watch and the pair are in one photo below and I featured them in a post while I was there titled A BLM Example in Nature.
CLICK an image to enlarge or start a manual slide show.
Today was my first “bird day” with what looks like will be around 40 species, but still not through processing nearly 2,000 photos! 🙂 So I will have to show the collection later and it looks like I could beat the 53 species I got here last year!
My interim post will be an interesting little oddity in nature. For whatever reason, the Giant Cowbird (a big blackbird) sometimes lay their eggs in the nest of the Montezuma Oropendola and the really good mother Oropendola hatches the egg and raises the child as her own (do the cowbirds know that?). I had heard about this but never seen it until today. At the rather ugly fruit feeder at the dining room I got this photo of a mother Oropendola feeding a juvenile (bigger than a baby) Giant Cowbird she evidently is raising it as her own child. Since the baby is in the blackbird family I somehow thought of the Black Lives Matter movement in the states and thought this might be considered a beautiful example in nature! Hope so! 🙂
Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.
And for you birders, I know it is a Giant Cowbird juvenile because he has red eyes, not obvious in my photo but in real life it is. No other blackbird has red eyes.