Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tolumnia (Oncidium) variegata, birds weaving this orchid into their nest

Tolumnia variegata, one of our most common native orchids
A nest of an unidentified species of bird

The orchid was originally weaved into the fabric of the nest, you can see the dried  leaves trapped in the fibers.  A new fan of leaves grew free of the nest and its now producing another leaf fan on top of a stolon.

Many years ago, as I was hiking in a local forest, I found an area where the local birds would weave orchids into the fabric of their nests.  It was a charming sight but unfortunately at the time I didn't have a camera with me.  I returned to the forest last weekend and managed to find a nest with an orchid.  When I visited this area, a long time ago it was almost pristine.  Now although there were signs of human visitation, to my utter astonishment, there was no trash anywhere.  Apparently whoever has visited the spot has been respectful of the area.  Sadly, I found the orchid population in the area was just a fraction of the size it was when I first visited.   


Orchids & Observations said...

Fascinating, I'd love to know what species of bird it is.

Ricardo said...

I suspect it may be a bananaquit (Coereba flaveola) nest.