Olive Oropendola Psarocolius bifasciatus Scientific name definitions

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


The song of the Olive Oropendola appears less variable than that those of congeners, even when comparing geographically well-separated populations (e.g., Venezuela compared with Bolivia) (2, 180, 77). Its song has a rattling, metallic, or liquid quality, and is usually delivered as part of an abbreviated bowing display, as with other oropendolas (see Sexual Behavior).


Vocal Array


Male song (bifaciatus) described as a thin descending whistle , followed by a complex rattle with woody undertones, and ending in loud warble or a sustained note, with complex harmonics (180). In Peru and Colombia (yuracares), the song is described as a liquid gurgling “stek-ek-ek-ek-ek-eh-eh-o’o’gloop!,” similar to Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) (183) “tek-tk-tk-k-k-k-googuhloóp!” (34).

In Peru (yuracares), the song is described as a long series of descending, gurgling, bubbling notes ending in a loud, quavering note, like someone pouring water from a jug: "gr-r-r-r-r-r-GWO'WOH" (187). Other descriptions include a two-part, loud, gurgling "cc-rr-rr-rr-rr-whh-heeeeeoooooppp," lasting c. 1.5 seconds (2). Also a "psooEE-OH,o,o,o,o,o,o,o" (2). The first part descends in frequency (c. 8-1 kHz), with a grating or crackling quality with metallic overtones, while the second part has the typical liquid quality of other oropendolas (2).


Calls include soft “yok,” and a louder “awk,” or nasal “raap” and “whrup” calls in flight and when foraging (183, 3). A common flight call has also been described as a mewing "nhye" (2). Some of these sharper and louder, i.e., "tax" or "chak" calls, are presumed to perform an alarm function (2).

Nonvocal Sounds

Males sometimes perform audible wing flaps as part of their display, though these display elements are not as numerous, frequent, or audible as in other species such as Crested Oropendola (Psarocolius decumanus) (2). The distinctive and loud sound of wingbeats produced while adults are flying above the canopy can also be a useful way to locate this species (33).

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