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Posted by on Feb 18, 2015 in Animals, Birds, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Montezuma Oropendola

Montezuma Oropendola

If ever a name fit a species it is the Montezuma Oropéndola. This fascinating bird has four trade-marks, two of which are described in its name. Let’s dissect the name and in the process you will learn some Spanish.

ORO – is the Spanish word for gold. The Oropéndola has a brilliant layered display of gold feathers for its tail.

Montezuma Oropendola in

Pénodola – Spanish for pendulum. This is exactly what the bird does when the male gives its call. The bird swings forward on a branch, dipping down as he vocalizes. See the video below:

Montezuma Oropendola NestSo there you have it – the Golden Pendolum that is a bird – The oropéndola.

The other characteristics of this bird are the strange metallic call (as heard in the video) and the birds’ nests.

The nests are made of woven leaf-matter and are precariously perched at the end of flimsy limbs often times in multiples.

It is thought that this is to deter would-be predators.


According to Wikipedia the Montezuma Oropéndola is “…a resident breeder in the Caribbean coastal lowlands from southeastern Mexico to central Panama, but is absent from El Salvador and southern Guatemala.”

We see them often here in the Central Valley, both up in the mountains and at lower elevations. It is one of my favorite birds because of its uniqueness.

Montezuma Oropendola

Until next time, hasta luego,

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Greg Seymour is a quitter. At 41 Greg and his wife Jen quit their jobs, sold damn near everything they owned and became Intentionally Unemployed and retired early to Costa Rica.
In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
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  1. good to read you again. this article was very informative and you were right re the Spanish. I felt good to have learned about the bird and the Spanish.

  2. We have been wintering in Ojochal the last six years and this year we were surrounded with the Oropendolas. My husband was able to do some videotaping while they were in our yard. After talking to a local baker who has lived here for twenty years, we found out this was the first time he had ever seen them here on the Pacific side.

    • Wow – what a treat. I have them in my back yard part of the year.

  3. Great piece! Looking forward to all the great things Costa Rica offers when we retire there!

    • So many wonderful sights and sounds here. Costa Rica has many things going for it and a few against. If you can learn to live with the negatives, and pack your sense of humor, you will love it.

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