Yellow-rumped Cacique

Yellow-rumped Cacique

Summary:

Profile Yellow-rumped Cacique
[Authority] Linnaeus, 1758 | [group] New World blackbirds | [order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Icteridae | [latin] Cacicus cela | [UK] Yellow-rumped Cacique | [FR]

[Authority] Linnaeus, 1758 | [group] New World blackbirds | [order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Icteridae | [latin] Cacicus cela | [UK] Yellow-rumped Cacique | [FR] Cacique cela | [DE] Gelbburzel-Kassike | [ES] Arrendajo Comun | [NL] Geelstuitbuidelspreeuw | copyright picture

copyright: J. del Hoyo

The male is 28 cm long and weighs about 104 g, and the female is 23 cm long and weighs 60 g. This is a slim bird, with a long tail, blue eyes, and a pale yellow pointed bill. It has mainly black plumage, apart from a bright yellow rump, tail base, lower belly and wing -epaulets-. The female is smaller and duller black than the male, and the juvenile bird resembles the female, but has dark eyes and a brown bill base.

The Yellow-rumped Cacique is a bird associated with open woodland or cultivation with large trees. It prefers varzea forest edges, woodland and some semi-open habitats.

It breeds in much of northern South America from Panama and Trinidad south to Peru, Bolivia and central Brazil.

It is very gregarious and large, noisy flocks can be seen flying over Amazon rivers particularly at dawn and dusk as the flocks move from their overnight roost to their feeding grounds and back again. This gregarious bird eats large insects and fruit.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]


It is a colonial breeder, with up to 100 bag-shaped nests in a tree, which usually also contains an active wasp nest. The females build the nests, incubate, and care for the young. Each nest is 30-45 cm long and widens at the base, and is suspended from the end of a branch. Females compete for the best sites near the protection of the wasp nest. The normal clutch is two dark-blotched pale blue or white eggs. Females begin incubating after laying the second egg; hatching occurs after 13 or 14 days. The young fledge in 34 to 40 days, usually only one per nest. Yellow-rumped Cacique eggs and nestlings often fall prey to toucans and aracaris and the wasps seem to offer some protection against these predators. Sick explains that the wasps also repel Philornis flies which are attracted in enormous numbers by the birds smell. These flies are paratisized by a mite which then move on to the nestlings, many of whom die from the infestation. Another danger is the Piratic Flycatcher (Legatus leucophaius) which likes to take over a Yellow-rumped Cacique nest for its own and will often chase off a cacique sitting on eggs before throwing out the eggs and setting up its own nest. This is known as -nest paratisism- as opposed to -brood paratisism- where birds will lay eggs in another species nest and the egg will be hatched and cared for by the host species.

Sedentary throughout range.

Specification

  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 0 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 0 cm
  4. size min.: 28 cm
  5. size max.: 29 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 13 days
  8. incubation max.: 14 days
  9. fledging min.: 34 days
  10. fledging max.: 14 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 2
  13. eggs max.: 3
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Yellow-rumped Cacique status Least Concern

Subspecies

  1. Cacicus cela cela
  2. Cacicus cela flavicrissus
  3. Cacicus cela vitellinus
  4. Cacicus cela
  5. LA Panama to se SA
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