Studio Sixty Six
Decoy: corn bird nest

Decoy: corn bird nest


acrylic on unstretched canvas

73.66 cm x 58.4 cm / 29'' x 23'', framed


The corn bird (crested oropendola) builds multiple, meter-long stocking nests, often as part of a larger nesting colony, in order to confuse predatory species that seek to rob them of their young. Likewise, they themselves are known crop and nest-robbers. The labor-intensive forms of these nests and the birds’ sometimes abhorrent behavior is analogous to some of our own less-than-desirable human conduct, especially when self-protective efforts become paranoia.

I observed corn birds nesting at the Asia Wright Nature Center in Tuna Puna, Trinidad. An overgrown cocoa bean plantation, the Center now is a destination for birders from around the world, many of whom exhibit their own curious habits and rituals.