Yellowrumped cacique

Cacicus cela

TAXONOMY

Parus cela Linnaeus, 1758, Surinam. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Cassique cul-jaune; German: Gelbbürzelkassike; Spanish: Charro de Rabadilla Amarilla.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

8-11 in (22-29 cm); female 2.4-3.9 oz (67-110 g), male 2.9-4.3 oz (81-121 g). Sexes similar in color. A large black cacique with a yellow rump, undertail coverts, and wingbar. The bill is pale yellow.

DISTRIBUTION

Resident from southern Panama to northern and central South America, east of the Andes south to southern Bolivia and central and eastern Brazil, and west of the Andes in western Ecuador and northwestern Peru.

HABITAT

Tropical lowland forest edge and river-edge forest.

BEHAVIOR

Yellow-rumped caciques often nest colonially, and at colonies females outnumber males. Males display by roughing out their feathers, especially the yellow rump feathers, and with their body in a horizontal position, they flutter their wings and thrust their head downward while vocalizing.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

They feed in trees, primarily in the outer foliage or in the canopy. Their food is primarily insects, but they also eat fruit. They often feed in pairs or small groups, but males often feed singly.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Successful males mate with several different females in a season. Within both sexes, dominance hierarchies are established, with the largest individuals at the top of the hierarchy. Dominant males obtain the most mates, and dominant females can occupy prime nesting sites, near wasp nests; they often nest on islands. The nest is a hanging basket, averaging about 17 in (43 cm), woven of palm strips, and suspended from a tree branch. Generally two eggs are laid; eggs can be laid at any season, but most nesting takes place in the driest times of the year. Incubation 13-14 days; fledging takes place after 24-30 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Widespread and common in suitable habitat.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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