SPECIES

Olive Oropendola Psarocolius bifasciatus Scientific name definitions

Harold F. Greeney
Version: 2.0 — Published June 10, 2022

Plumages, Molts, and Structure

Plumages

All plumages are rather poorly described, and the following is from Jaramillo and Burke (2) unless noted otherwise.

Immature

Immature yuracares, presumably older individuals, are said to resemble adults, but with the chestnut on the under parts more restricted and mixed with green on the back (1).

Adult

The head, neck, and upper breast of the nominate subspecies are blackish brown, giving the appearance of a dark hood. The mantle, rump, thighs, and rest of the underparts are chestnut, blending smoothly on the chest and back into the black of the head and neck. The wings are black with chestnut outer edges to the primaries and secondaries, such that they appear mainly chestnut when folded. The wing-linings are chestnut-black. The tail is yellow with the central pair of rectrices (R1) entirely dark brown. These black feathers are slightly (20 mm) shorter than the longest yellow feathers, and when seen from below, the tail can appear entirely yelllow. Sexes are similar, but males have three long (90 mm) crest feathers, which may be visible in the field. Females are smaller, lack the crest feathers, and are somewhat duller in coloration (see Measurements).

Molts

Not well described. From Jaramillo and Burke (2):

“Adults change their entire plumage once a year through the definitive pre-basic moult. In Amazonas, Peru, birds are moulting in July, while in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, the moult takes place in April. The definitive pre-basic moult takes place after the breeding season, therefore it is safe to say that in E Venezuela this moult takes place after April. The timing and extent of the first pre-basic moult is not known. There is no evidence for prealternate moults.”

Bare Parts

Bill

Largely black with up to a third of the tip being described as red (neivae; 6), reddish orange (yuracares; 7), vermilion (bifasciatus; 8), or yellow or pale yellow (yuracares; 1, 9). The tongue, and presumably the mouth lining is said to be pale gray (bifasciatus; 10).

Iris

Generally reported as dark brown (1, 11, 8), but Snethlage (6) describes the iris of neivae as pale gray in males and brown in females. In addition, von Tschudi (12) gives the eye color of Peruvian yuracares as whitish-blue, while Olivares (7) gives the eye color of yuracares in eastern Colombia as bluish. These examples suggest the possibility of eye-color change with age.

Facial Skin

Pinkish or reddish. Also described as reddish violet (bifasciatus; 8). Birds from the upper Orinoco Basin (yuracares) were described by von Berlepsch and Hartert (11) as having the bare facial patch orange gray near the base of the mandible, grading to red violet. In immatures, the coloration of the facial skin is paler (2).

Tarsi and Toes

Black to brownish black (1, 9, 8, 6).

Measurements

Note: The measurements from Cassin (1) provided below were converted from inches.

Linear Measurements

Total Length

  • yuracares: ♂♂ – c. 45.7 cm (1).
  • yuracares: ♀♀ – c. 38.1 cm (1).
  • bifasciatus: ♂♂ – c. 45.7-50.8 cm (1).
  • bifasciatus: ♀♀ – c. 35.6-38.1 cm (1).

Wing

  • yuracares: ♂♂ – 241 mm (n = ?; 1); 210, 270 mm (13); 264 mm (14); 231, 272 mm (14); mean 252.5 mm, range 226-292 mm (n = 10; 2).
  • yuracares: ♀♀ – 191 mm (n = ?; 1); 204, 208 mm (14); 201, 202 mm (15); mean 207.7 mm, range 192-219 mm (n = 8; 2).
  • neivae: ♂♂ – 245 mm (6, 2).
  • neivae: ♀♀ – 194, 197 mm (6, 2), 202 mm (16).
  • bifasciatus: ♂♂ – 241-251 mm (1); 165 mm (17); 262 mm (2).
  • bifasciatus: ♀♀ – 203 mm (1); 255 mm (8); mean 202 mm, range 193-208 mm (n = 3; 2).

Tail

  • yuracares: ♂♂ – 191 mm (n = ?; 1); 165, 210 mm (13); 199 mm (14); 167, 194 mm (15); mean 200.1 mm, range 182-246 mm (n = 10; 2).
  • yuracares: ♀♀ – 165-178 mm (n = ?; 1); 154, 158 mm (14); 153, 151 mm (15); mean 167.4 mm, range 154-183 mm (n = 8; 2).
  • neivae: ♀♀ – 155 mm (16).
  • bifasciatus: ♂♂ – 203 mm (1); 202 mm (17); 210 mm (2).
  • bifasciatus: ♀♀ – 152-165 mm (1); 190 mm (8); mean 155 mm, range 140-170 mm (n = 3; 2).

Bill (culmen)

  • yuracares: ♂♂ – 80 mm (14); 65, 75 mm (15); mean 78.7 mm, range 73-83 mm (n = 10; 2).
  • yuracares: ♀♀ – 60, 63 mm (14); 60, 58 mm (15); mean 60.9 mm, range 58-63 mm (n = 7; 2).
  • neivae: ♂♂ – 65 mm (6, 2).
  • neivae: ♀♀ – 52, 54 mm (6, 2), 54.5 mm (16).
  • bifasciatus: ♂♂ – 69.5 mm (17); 72 mm (2).
  • bifasciatus: ♀♀ – 68.5 mm (8); mean 54.0 mm, range 53-55 mm (n = 3; 2).

Tarsus

  • yuracares: ♂♂ – 50, 60 mm (13); 55 mm (14); 53, 52 mm (15); mean 57.5 mm, range 55-60 mm (n = 10; 2).
  • yuracares: ♀♀ – 43, 43 mm (14); 42, 41 mm (15); mean 46.8 mm, range 42-50 mm (n = 8; 2).
  • neivae: ♂♂ – 52 mm (6, 2).
  • neivae: ♀♀ – 41, 42 mm (6, 2).
  • bifasciatus: ♂♂ – 47 mm (2).
  • bifasciatus: ♀♀ – mean 43.7 mm, range 40-46 mm (n = 3; 2).

Mass

  • yuracares: ♂♂ – 430 g (n = 1; 18); mean 457.8 ± 39.1 g (n = 6; 5).
  • yuracares: ♀♀ – mean 250.5 g ± 7.8 g (n = 4; 5).
  • yuracares: sex not specified – 360 g (n = ?; 19).
  • neivae: ♂♂ – 290, 385, 445 g (20).
  • neivae: ♀♀ – 184, 210, 215 g (20).

Recommended Citation

Greeney, H. F. (2022). Olive Oropendola (Psarocolius bifasciatus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (B. K. Keeney, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.olioro1.02