Olive Oropendola Psarocolius bifasciatus Scientific name definitions

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

Diet and Foraging


Main Foods Taken

Omnivorous; taking primarily small prey items, fruit, seeds, and nectar.

Microhabitat for Foraging

Generally, a canopy forager (2, 88, 193), but may descend lower to exploit nectar resources (5).

Food Capture and Consumption

Given their varied diet (see below), the precise details of foraging methods presumably show great variation and adaptability. In humid submontane forest in Chapare (Bolivia), Olive Oropendolas use gaping to open mats of epiphytes and moss growing on trunks and main branches (193). Although it appears that it forages most frequently in small monospecific groups, it will occasionally join heterospecific feeding flocks composed of other oropendolas, caciques, and similarly large omnivores (e.g., jays [Corvidae]). It has been noted to be the dominant species, and involved in several aggressive interactions at a termite feeding frenzy at Los Amigos Biological Station in southeastern Peru (194). See also Behavior.


Major Food Items

Stomach contents from Brazil (6, 95) include insects, snails (Gastropoda), and fruit. Insect remains found in stomachs include: orthopterans (including Acrididae), coleopterans (including Cucurlionidae), and lepidopteran larvae. Stomach contents in Bolivia also contained a mixture of insects and fruit (5). The stomach of one individual in eastern Colombia contained seeds (7).

Olive Oropendola is said to be attracted by large clumps of nectar-rich flowers (185), and has been reported drinking nectar from flowers of Ochroma and Erythrina trees (5). It is also reported as feeding on cultivated fruits such as tangerines, papayas, and bananas (5). It has been observed feeding on swarms of termites in the upper canopy of a Brazil nut tree (Bertholletia excelsa) (see 194; video).

Drinking, Pellet-Casting, and Defecation

Has been observed drinking from small pools (see below).

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