Rather large blackbird of tropical lowlands; male is much larger than female. Found in forest edges, pastures, orchards, and open grassy areas along rivers; often in small groups. In breeding season, hangs around oropendola colonies, where it lays its eggs in oropendola nests and relies on them to raise its offspring. Thick neck accentuates small head with very stout, pointed bill. Flight is strong and fairly direct, with distinctive flap-flap-flap-glide progression. Eye color varies: red in Mexico and Central America, yellowish in parts of South America.