Richard Moore Outdoor Report: Astounding Avian Architect


RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – If there is a silver lining to being homebound during the corona crisis, it is being able to spend more time in our own backyards. Richard Moore shares the story of a remarkable backyard avian architect that constructs an astounding work of art.

It all starts with a few strands of plant fiber tightly woven to a specially selected branch. What follows will be hundreds and hundreds of trips to the evolving nest before the exquisitely woven hanging stocking is finally completed.

The female does all the labor, while the male often perches nearby to admire her handiwork. It is difficult to tell the two bright orange birds apart, but the male is often slightly brighter in color and has somewhat of a fuller black throat. He is also conspicuous by his lack of nest building activity, although he dutifully stands guard.

Birds are capable of extraordinary engineering feats, and the Altamira oriole certainly constructs one of the most impressive nests in nature. The two foot long nest is the longest of any North American bird.

Their nest building prowess is not a learned trait, but instinctual. They are literally hardwired with the drive and capability to create their beautifully woven masterpieces.

For this particular nest, the female visits a nearby palm tree where she carefully selects just the right strand for her construction.

It may take her two or three weeks to intricately weave the thousands of fibers together, and this is one bird that likes to whistle while she works.

With the nest finally completed, whether it is in a towering tepeguaje or thorny ebony, it is time for egg laying and two weeks of incubation.

Fortunately, for the hardworking female, her mate will assist in feeding the young. From dawn to dusk, the dutiful parents will bring meal after meal to their youngsters that will mature rapidly and fledge approximately two weeks after hatching.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


COVID Tip: Wash Your Hands

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Wash Your Hands"

COVID Tip: Cover When Coughing and Sneezing

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Cover When Coughing and Sneezing"

COVID Tip: Disinfecting

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Disinfecting"

COVID Tip: Cover Your Mouth

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Cover Your Mouth"

COVID Tip: Avoid Close Contact

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID Tip: Avoid Close Contact"

COVID-19 Tip: Disinfect Areas

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID-19 Tip: Disinfect Areas"

COVID-19 Tip: Wash Hands Often

Thumbnail for the video titled "COVID-19 Tip: Wash Hands Often"

ValleyCentral App Links

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Inside RGV Politics

More Inside RGV Politics
More Throwback Thursday