Hanging high up on branches, the woven basket nests of an orependolas colony protect their nestlings from predators on the ground. However, the giant cowbird is allowed to lays its eggs in the nests because it eats parasitic botflies harmful to the nestlings. Driven by the will of survival, the nestlings of both species compete with one another for food, care, and space. Is the oropendola the protector of the cowbird or is it protected from the cowbird? 
Back to Top