"A Real 'Jungle' Bird" Top 5 Page for this destination Parque Nacional Tikal Off The Beaten Path Tip by Bwana_Brown
Parque Nacional Tikal Off The Beaten Path: 13 reviews and 24 photos
As we walked around to the front of the Temple of the Giant Jaguar, we could not help but notice a frequent bird call with a very strange and 'jungle-like' sound. It was not long before we spotted the elegantly coloured Oropendola birds swooping down from nearby perches into their favourite leafy tree - located in the middle of the large open space in front of the Temple (second photo). It's branches were laden with a colony of dangling nests used by these large (18-20 inch) birds with their very colourful bright yellow tails. At first glance Oropendola look black, but in the sunshine my binoculars told me that they are actually a deep brown in colour.
The call and habits of the male is described by some naturalists as an "unforgettable song, of wheezing, gurgling and popping sounds. The male, seen in front of the female, will execute a complete somersault around a branch while simultaneously singing this medley of sounds." Sometimes the male will halt his somersault while upside down and stick the bright tail feathers straight up to make sure he is noticed. However, I also read the take of another naturalist on this bird - he says that he believes the male birds spin around the branches because it is FUN and the strange call can loosely be translated into English as "Wheeee!!" Sounds like a typical male to me!
Whatever, we got a lot of fun out of watching and listening to them!
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