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Montezuma Oropendola Nests, Wasp Nests

Psarocolius montezuma


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.

No species ID suggestions


Irene Brady
Irene Brady 2 years ago

Ah! I hope you have a great time, and watch for wasp nests if you see an Oropendola colony. BTW, the Oropendolas make the most marvelous music. One of their courtship calls sounds like someone popping open a paper bag.

Jim Nelson
Jim Nelson 2 years ago

Very interesting posting and information, Irene! We have spent time in the Peruvian Amazon at the Pacaya Samiria Preserve, and are planning on returning. Gorgeous part of the world.

Las Amazonas, Loreto, Peru

Lat: -3.53, Long: -72.30

Spotted on Dec 1, 2010
Submitted on Feb 1, 2016

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