Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Great shearwater

Ardenna gravis

Photo by Alejandro Torés (Seabirds Galicia)

Common name:
great shearwater (en); pardela-de-barrete (pt); puffin majeur (fr); pardela capirotada (es); großer sturmtaucher (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Procellariiformes
Family Procellariidae

Range:
This species only breeds on Nightingale Island, Inaccessible Island and Gough island in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, and on Kidney Island in the Falklands. Outside the breeding season they migrate north to winter along the coasts of North America and Europe, as far north as the Arctic Circle.

Size:
These birds are 43-51 cm long and have a wingspan of 100-118 cm. They weigh 670-995 g.

Habitat:
The great shearwater is a pelagic species, spending most of their life in offshore and pelagic waters. They only come to land to breed, in remote volcanic islands, in areas of sloping ground among tussock grass or Phylica woodlands.

Diet:
They feed in groups, hunting fishes such as mackerel and capelin, squids such as Illex illecebrosus, and crustaceans, either by catching prey from the surface or by plunge-diving. They also take fish offal from fishing boats.

Breeding:
Great shearwaters breed in October-April. They are monogamous and usually nest in dense colonies of up to many thousands of pairs. They excavate a burrow in the ground, where the female lays a single white eggs which is incubated by both parents for 53-57 days. The chick is fed by both parents and fledges 85-120 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large range and the global population is estimated to be over 15 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. However, several thousand adults and  about 50.000 chicks are harvested every year in Tristan da Cunha and there is no research to validate whether these levels of harvesting are sustainable.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Banded broadbill

Eurylaimus javanicus

(Photo from Auk Anak Wayang)

Common name:
banded broadbill (en); bico-largo-de-colar (pt); eurylaime de Horsfield (fr); eurilaimo bandeado (es); purpurkopf-breitrachen (de)


Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Eurylaimidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Myanmar and Thailand to the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Java and nearby smaller islands.

Size:
These birds are 21,5-23 cm long and weigh 73-87 g.

Habitat:
The banded broadbill is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including logged forests, but also uses swamp forests, plantations, rural gardens and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects, namely grasshoppers and crickets, beetles, bugs and caterpillars.

Breeding:
Banded broadbills breed in March-December, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a very large and compact pear-shaped structure, made of twigs, roots, leaves, grass and moss, and lined with leaves. The nest is often decorated with various materials and fixed to the main branch of a tree, often near the bank of a river or stream. The female lays 2-3 white or creamy-white eggs with purple and reddish-brown speckles and spots. There is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is is reported to be relatively common in Indonesia, except in Java where it is rare, while in Indochina the species is reported to be uncommon in the southern lowlands and extremely rare further north. There is no available information on population trends.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Rufous-banded honeyeater

Conopophila albogularis

Photo by Darryl Jones (Flickr)

Common name:
rufous-banded honeyeater (en); melífago- (pt); méliphage à gorge blanche (fr); mielero pechirrufo (es); rostband-honigfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is found in northern Australia, in coastal areas of northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, and also along the southern coast of New Guinea and in some parts of northern Papua-New Guinea.

Size:
These birds are 12-14,5 cm long and weigh 9-14,5 g.

Habitat:
The rufous-banded honeyeater is found in riparian paperback Melaleuca sp. woodlands, Eucalyptus forests, mangroves, moist scrublands and savannas, and in urban parks and gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 600 m.

Diet:
They are mainly insectivorous, taking various insects and spiders, but also eat nectar from Eucalyptus and paperbark flowers and eat the arils that attach wattle seeds to the pod.

Breeding:
Rufous-banded honeyeaters can breed all year round, but with peaks in September-November and January-March. The nest is a purse-shaped structure suspended from the outer twigs of a wattle or paperbark, often over water. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated for about 14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 14 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Grey-necked wood-rail

Aramides cajaneus

Photo by Santiago Lozano (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
grey-necked wood-rail (en); saracura-três-potes (pt); râle de Cayenne (fr); cotara chiricote (es); Cayenneralle (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Gruiformes
Family Rallidae

Range:
This species is found from north-eastern Mexico, south across Central America and into South America where it is found east of the Andes as far south as northern Argentina and Uruguay.

Size:
These birds are 33-40 cm long and weigh 350-470 g.

Habitat:
The grey-necked wood-rail is mostly found in swamp forests and marshes, also using moist tropical forests, mangroves and forests rivers. This species occurs from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They are omnivorous, feeding on crabs, snails and other molluscs, insects such as flies, cockroaches and locusts, frogs, water snakes and the eggs and juveniles of turtles, but also on seeds and grains, fleshy berries and palm fruits.

Breeding:
Grey-necked wood-rails breed in January-September, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a bulky mass of dead leaves and twigs, placed either on the ground among reeds or up to 3 m above the ground in a a thicket or vine tangle. The female lays 2-7 dull white to beige eggs with rufous and pale lilac blotches and spots. The eggs are incubated by both parents for about 20 days. The chicks leave the nest within a few days of hatching, but the parents will bring them food and protect them for about 8 weeks.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is currently estiated at 5-50 million individuals. The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends and may be adversely affected by habitat destruction.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Tiger shrike

Lanius tigrinus

(Photo from Hunan Forestry)

Common name:
tiger shrike (en); picanço-tigre (pt); pie-grièche tigrine (fr); alcaudón tigre (es); tigerwürger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Laniidae

Range:
This species breeds in eastern China from Guizhou, Hunan and Zhejiang north to Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang, in Korea, in the Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu and marginally in extreme south-eastern Russia. They migrate south to winter from southern China and Myanmar south to Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are 17-19 cm long. Males tend to be smaller than females, weighing 27-29 g while females weigh 29-37 g.

Habitat:
The tiger shrike breeds mainly in temperate, deciduous and mixed forests with thick understorey, also using scrublands, arable land and both rural and urban gardens. Outside the breeding season they use moist tropical forests, mangroves, arable land and rural gardens. This species is present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

Diet:
They hunt by sallying out from a perch, mainly taking insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, bugs, butterflies and moths. They are als known to take other arthropods, frogs, lizards and even small birds.

Breeding:Tiger shrikes breed in May-July. They are monogamous and both sexes help build the nest, a cup made of stems, twigs, roots and other vegetation, and lined with grasses. The nest is placed on a tree branch, or sometimes on a scrub, 0,5-5 m above the ground. The female lays 3-6 whitish, pinkish or blue-green eggs with dark markings, which she incubates alone for 13-16 days. The chicks fledge 13-15 days after hatching, but only become fully independent about 2 weeks later. Each pair raises a single brood per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status -LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is is described as rare in China and Russia, relatively common in Korea, uncommon in Japan and locally uncommon to common throughout its non-breeding range. The population is estimated to be declining on the basis of marked declines in Russia and Japan from the 1960s to the 1990s at least.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Red-faced spinetail

Cranioleuca erythrops

Photo by Eduardo Letort (PBase)

Common name:
red-faced spinetail (en); arredio-de-faces-vermelhas (pt); synallaxe à face rouge (fr); curutié carirrojo (es); rotgesicht-baumschlüpfer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

Range:
This species occurs in three disjunct subspecies. C.e. rufigenis is found in the mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama, C.e. griseigularis is found in extreme eastern Panama and along the Andes of western and central Colombia, and C.e. erythrops is found in the Andes of western Ecuador.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 13-20 g.

Habitat:
The red-faced spinetail is mostly found in moist, mountain rainforests, but also use rainforests at lower altitudes, tall second growths and tropical deciduous forests. They occur at altitudes of 150-2.300 m.

Diet:They often join mixed-species feeding flocks, hunting among tree branches, bark and epiphytes in search of invertebrates such as beetles, grasshoppers, roaches, caterpillars, spiders. They are also known to take the protein corpuscles produced by Cecropia sp.

Breeding:
Red-faced spinetails breed in March-July. The nest is a bulky ball, loosely made of grass, moss and pieces of epiphytes, with an entrance tunnel at the bottom, and placed hanging near the end of a branch, 5-12 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 eggs. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and is described as fairly common. This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Jack snipe

Lymnocryptes mininus

Photo by Dûrzan Cîrano (Wikipedia)

Common name:
jack snipe (en); narceja-galega (pt); bécassine sourde (fr); agachadiza chica (es); zwergschnepfe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Scolopacidae

Range:
This species breeds in Scandinavia, northern Belarus and in northern Russia as far east as Cherskly. They migrate south to winter in western Europe, around the Mediterranean, in sub-Saharan Africa as far south as Kenya, northern D.R. Congo and southern Cameroon, and also in the Arabian Peninsula, India and south-eastern Asia.

Size:
These birds are 17-20 cm long and have a wingspan of 30-42 cm. They weigh 30-85 g.

Habitat:
The jack snipe breeds in open marshes, floodplains and bogs, in forest tundra and northern taiga. Outside the breeding season they use both fresh water and brackish wetlands, favouring a mosaics of moist and waterlogged mudflats with soft, silty mud and dense of tussocks vegetation, namely in swamps, fens, grassy marshes, the margins of rivers and streams, overgrown flood-lands, sewage farms, rice fields, flooded arable fields, damp pastures and wet meadows.

Diet:They feed on adult and larval insects, annelids, small freshwater and terrestrial gastropods and sometimes seeds.
Breeding:Jack snipes breed in May-September and can be monogamous, polyandrous or polygynous. They nest in a scrape on a marshy sedge bed, lined with sedge stems and leaves. The female lays 4 buff eggs with dark brown markings, which she incubates alone for 18-24 days. The chicks are precocial, leaving the nest soon after hatching. The male and female split brood and care for each group independently.

Conservation:
IUCN status -LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated to be over 1 million individuals. The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends.