Fun Crested Oropendola Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Crested Oropendola Facts For Kids

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The crested oropendola is a species of New World bird belonging to the genus Psarocolius. It is a resident breeder and occurs in the continent of South America and some parts of Central America. This bird occurs in northern Argentina, east of the Andes, Panama, and Colombia. The crested oropendola mostly inhabits savanna grassland, hills, forest edges, and clearings. This medium-sized bird is around 14.5-18.5 in (37-47 cm) long. Its unique yellow tail and pale ivory bill stand in contrast to the rest of the body. A crested oropendola bird is mostly seen alone roosting in tall trees or congregating in small flocks. Their diet consists of fruits, insects, and small vertebrates.

These tropical birds form colonies during the breeding season and the females outnumber the males in every colony. Males perform courtship displays and vocalize distinct mating calls to attract the females to the breeding ground. The nests are built at a higher elevation on tall trees. After mating, females lay around two eggs and incubates them for 17-19 days. Males are involved in guarding the territories. The conservation organization, the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List, has listed the crested oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) as species of Least Concern. Their predators include snakes and monkeys.

If you are interested in reading more such articles, then do check out palm cockatoo and red-backed shrike.

Fun Crested Oropendola Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Insects, small vertebrates, and spiders

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

5.5-10 oz (158-284.6 g)

How long are they?

14.5-18.5 in (37-47 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, And Snakes, Monkeys

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Lowlands, Montane Forest, Subtropical Forest


And Colombia, Northern Argentina, Panama









Crested Oropendola Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a crested oropendola?

The crested oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) is a species of bird belonging to the Icteridae family. It is a member of the genus Psarocolius and consists of four subspecies.

What class of animal does a crested oropendola belong to?

This New World bird belongs to the class Aves.

How many crested oropendolas are there in the world?

There are around 5,000,000 individuals present in the world.

Where does a crested oropendola live?

This species is a resident breeder in Central and South America. In Central America, they reside in Costa Rica and Guatemala. They also inhabit the isthmus of Panama that links Central and South America. They are found on the south and east of the Andes mountains in Colombia. They also reside south of the Amazon basin, northern Argentina, and eastern Brazil.

What is a crested oropendola's habitat?

The preferred habitat of the crested oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) is tropical, subtropical, and montane forests where they are mostly found near the forest edges and clearings. Tropical forests are habitats that receive the maximum amount of rainfall with high temperatures, whereas montane forests have long winters accompanied by snowfall. They also reside in savanna grassland and hilly areas at a lower elevation. They generally avoid dry arid areas and prefer a habitat that has tall trees. Most birds are found below an elevation of 3280.8-5577.4 ft (1000-1700 m) from sea level.

Who do crested oropendolas live with?

These birds are either seen alone or in small groups. Their groups, commonly known as flocks, consist of 2-20 individuals.

How long does a crested oropendola live?

This species has been known to have a lifespan of 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

These birds are polygamous in nature and a male bird mates with more than one female. During the breeding season, they form colonies consisting of around 2-43 nests. Every colony has around 15-30 females and three to four males. The dominant male bird exhibits an elaborate bowing display and vocalizes distinct songs to attract the females during the breeding season. Female birds are involved in building the nest on tall trees using dry leaves, fibers, and other nesting materials. After mating, females lay around two eggs and incubate them for 17-19 days. The eggs are bluish-gray in color with dark spots. Adult males are involved in guarding the colony while the females look after the chicks.

What is their conservation status?

In the evaluation published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN, their conservation Red List has listed the crested oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) as species of Least Concern. The destruction of habitat and climate change are the major threats that have resulted in a decreasing trend in their population.

Crested Oropendola Fun Facts

What do crested oropendolas look like?

Crested oropendolas exhibit sexual dimorphism as males are slightly larger than females in the description. Adult males have smooth black plumage with a chestnut-colored rump. They also have a crest on their head with black feathers. Their bright yellow tail stands in contrast to the rest of the black plumage. A pair of black feathers run across the center of their yellow tail. Their upper and under tail coverts have a chestnut shade. They have a conical bill that is pale yellow or ivory in color. The plumage of females has a dark brown tinge with a smaller crest. Few females lack a crest on their heads. Their turquoise blue iris is one of the key features of their appearance. Their feathers have a distinct smell of the oil secreted by the preen gland. The juvenile's description resembles adult females and they have brown eyes.

Isthmus of Panama

We've been unable to source an image of a crested oropendola and have used an image of its habitat. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a crested oropendola, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at [email protected].

How cute are they?

The cuteness of these birds stems from their appearance. The presence of black plumage, a contrasting bright yellow tail with black central feathers, chestnut rump, yellow-ish bill, turquoise blue eyes, and chestnut tail feathers make them attractive. These are a few of the identifying features of this bird.

How do they communicate?

A crested oropendola call is mostly heard during the breeding season while performing courtship displays. Males communicate through a wide range of vocalizations. The crested oropendola song has several high and low pitches along with vibrating notes. They end their rhythmic songs with a lower note or by beating their wings. During the breeding season, the dominant male crested oropendola vocals a gurgling rattle or harsh calls to attract a female.

How big is a crested oropendola?

The crested oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) is around 14.5-18.5 in (37-47 cm) long. It is slightly larger than the common blackbird which is 9-11 in (24-27 cm) long.

How fast can a crested oropendola fly?

The exact speed of this bird in flight is not known. However, they fly at a high speed with rapid wingbeats.

How much does a crested oropendola weigh?

This bird weighs around 5.5-10 oz (158-284.6 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female birds of this species are commonly referred to male crested oropendolas and female crested oropendolas.

What would you call a baby crested oropendola?

A baby crested oropendola is known as a chick.

What do they eat?

These birds prey on a variety of insects including ground beetles and caterpillars. Their diet also consists of spiders and small vertebrates like tree frogs. They can feed on fruit and nectar from flowers and consume papaya, mangoes, oranges, and other wild fruit in their diet.

Are they poisonous?

No, these birds are not considered to be poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

There have been no records of keeping this tropical bird as a pet. However, they are often kept in confinement at zoos and botanical gardens.

Did you know...

The crested oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) belongs to the family Icteridae. The name is derived from the ancient Greek term, 'ikteros' meaning 'jaundiced ones'. It is named after the presence of prominent yellow feathers on the birds belonging to this group.

How did crested oropendolas get their name?

These New World birds are named after the presence of a small crest on their head. Their dark crest consists of small black feathers and is visible when they are excited.

Are crested oropendolas endangered?

Crested oropendolas are not considered to be endangered because of their stable population range. They are comparatively lesser in number towards the south of their range. They are usually regarded as pests in much of their range and therefore killed. Moreover, the destruction of habitat and climate change are the threats encountered by these birds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our blackpoll warbler facts and  whiskered treeswift facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Oropendola coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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