Montezuma Oropendolas try to build their hanging nests near wasp nests, whose stinging attacks deter both potential nest predators such as opossums, kinkajous, raccoons and snakes, and from parasitic insects such as Philornis Botflies, Two nests protected this colony, Shown close-up in photo #3, they may be nests of two different species of wasp.
The oropendolas who built this colony took advantage of the additional safety provided by hanging over a lagoon just off the Amazon River
Where nests are not hung next to wasp nests, they are invaded by botflies which lay eggs on hatchling birds, which can weaken or kill them. Cowbirds lay eggs in these nests, and the nestling cowbirds eat the bots off the oropendola chicks, improving their chances of survival.
Lat: -3.53, Long: -72.30
Spotted on Dec 1, 2010
Submitted on Feb 1, 2016