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Montezuma Oropendola - The Golden Pendulum

Imagine this bird, swinging from its perch!

In a clearing where an ancient Mayan city once stood, the Montezuma Oropendola perches and sings. His courtship display is astonishing: he swings by his feet and sings, his tail describing a golden pendulum - the very source of his name in Spanish - oropendola.
Support comes from Sasquatch Books, announcing The Breath of a Whale, stories of nature's remarkable creatures of the deep, from the author of The Hidden Lives of Owls.

Full Transcript


Montezuma Oropendola - The Golden Pendulum 
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote.

[Montezuma Oropendola song]

On a winter morning in the Central American tropics, the sun rises.
In a clearing, surrounded by dense forest, stand the ruins of a Mayan city. 
And on the warming air, this song… [Montezuma Oropendola song]

Perched beside its nest is the author of those gurgling tones – a Montezuma Oropendola.
He sings again, this time with a sound like the pop of firecrackers. [Montezuma Oropendola song, with firecracker notes]

The 20-inch-tall male Montezuma Oropendola is feathered in rich chestnut brown. He's an oversized cousin of orioles, wielding a sharp spike of a bill tipped in red. As his song display begins, he grasps a branch in his feet, bows forward, and then hangs completely upside-down, wings fluttering. His long tail becomes clearly visible, bright yellow, pointing upward. 

Our oropendola's now suspended head downward, swinging by his feet, singing. 
His tail describes a golden pendulum – the source of his name in Spanish – oropendola. [Montezuma Oropendola song, with firecracker notes]

You can learn more and see a photo of an oropendola, on our website, I’m Michael Stein. 


Call of the Montezuma Oropendola provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by C. Duncan.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Dominic Black
© 2015 Tune In to   March 2017/2019   Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# 031207MOOR1-2KPLU   MOOR-01c

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