Sunday, 1 March 2015

Hudson's canastero

Asthenes hudsoni

Photo by Juan Maria Raggio (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Hudson's canastero (en); joão-platino (pt); synallaxe de Hudson (fr); canastero pampeano (es); nördlicher flügelspiegelcanastero (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

Range:
This species is found in south-western Uruguay and in eastern Argentina from Santa Fe to southern Buenos Aires. Also marginally into Rio Grande do Sul, in southern Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 18 cm long.

Habitat:
The Hudson's canastero is found in temperate grasslands, including areas with tall wet grass such as Paspalum quadrifarium, sedges near wetlands, and seasonally inundated grasslands dominated by Spartina densiflora. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 950 m.

Diet:
They are insectivorous, taking caterpillars, beetles, stink bugs, grasshoppers and ants, which they glean from the ground or from low vegetation.

Breeding:
These birds are presumed to be monogamous and nest in November-January. The nest is placed on or near the ground and the female lays 3-4 eggs. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as uncommon to locally fairly common. The population is suspected to be experiencing a moderately rapid decline owing primarily to the on-going loss of habitat through land conversion for cultivation, livestock grazing and urbanization. The species is probably also susceptible to pollution.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vinous-throated parrotbill

Paradoxornis webbianus

(Photo from Natural Island, Yea! Taiwan)

Common name:
vinous-throated parrotbill (en); bico-de-papagaio-de-Webb (pt); paradoxornis de Webb (fr); picoloro de Webb (es); braunkopf-papageischnabel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Paradoxornithidae

Range:
This species is found in throughout eastern China, and into Korea and extreme south-eastern Russia, as well as Taiwan. It has also been introduced in Italy, where feral populations are becoming established.

Size:
These birds are 11-12,5 cm long and weigh 7-12 g.

Habitat:
The vinous-throated parrotbill is found in various types of scrubland, also using marshes and swamps, moist tropical forests, second growths and plantation. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 3.100 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seeds, flowers, fruits and buds, but also take insects such as grasshoppers and caterpillars.

Breeding:
These birds are monogamous and breed in April-August. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a cup made of grasses, reed strips, dry leaves, bamboo, bark, plant fibres, twigs and dry roots. It is lined with finer grasses, hairs and feathers and placed in a reed, bamboo, vine or fork in a scrub or small tree, up to 3 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-7 pale blue to turquoise eggs which are incubated by both parents for 13-15 days. The chicks are fed  by both parents and fledge 9-10 days after hatching. Each pair usually raises 2 broods per season.

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

Friday, 27 February 2015

Auckland snipe

Coenocorypha aucklandica

Photo by Kirk Zufelt (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Auckland snipe (en); narceja-austral-das-Auckland (pt); bécassine des Auckland (fr); chochita de las Auckland (es); Aucklandschnepfe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Scolopacidae

Range:
This species is endemic to New Zealand, where it is found on the Auckland Islands, the Antipodes Islands and Jacquemart Island in the Campbell Island group.

Size:
These birds are 21-24 cm long and have a wingspan of 30-35 cm. They weigh 80-130 g.

Habitat:
The Auckland snipe is found in areas with dense ground cover, including tussock grasslands on cliff tops and moist scrubland.

Diet:
They feed mainly on soil invertebrates, such as earthworms, amphipods, adult and larval insects and fly larvae and pupae.

Breeding:
Auckland snipes are mainly monogamous and polygyny also takes place. They breed in August-April. They nest on the ground, where the female lays 2 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for about 22 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and often each chick follows one of the parents who protects and feeds it for 41-65 days.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a small breeding range and the global population is estimated at 20.000-50.000 individuals. The Auckland snipe was affected by introduced predators, but current efforts to eradicate these predators and reintroduce the species to the Campbell islands halted previous population declines. In past there were local extinctions in several islands, due to the introduction of Pacific rats Rattus exulans, cats, pigs and wekas Gallirallus australis which prey on their eggs and young.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Dusky-tailed antbird

Drymophila malura

Photo by Dario Sanches (Wikipedia)




Common name:

dusky-tailed antbird (en); choquinha-carijó (pt); grisin malure (fr); tiluchí estriado oriental (es); olivrücken-ameisenfänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

Range:
This species is found in south-eastern Brazil, from Minas Gerais south to northern Rio Grande do Sul, and into eastern Paraguay and extreme north-eastern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 13,5-14,5 cm long and weigh 11-13 g.

Habitat:
The dusky-tailed antbird is found on the understorey of moist tropical forests, mainly in lowland areas, but also in mountainous areas up to an altitude of 1.900 m.

Diet:
They feed on insects and possibly also spiders.

Breeding:
There is no available information regarding the reproduction of this species.

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

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Fawn-breasted bowerbird

Chlamydera cerviniventris

Photo by Dick Daniels (Wikipedia)

Common name:
fawn-breasted bowerbird (en); jardineiro-de-peito-fulvo (pt); jardinier à poitrine fauve (fr); pergolero pechipardo (es); braunbauch-laubenvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Ptilonorhynchidae

Range:
This species is found in north-western and eastern New Guinea, and also in northern Queensland, Australia.

Size:
These birds are about 30 cm long. The males tend to be larger than females, weighing 145-182 g while the females weigh 117-170 g.

Habitat:
The fawn-breasted bowerbird is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using mangroves, dry savannas, dry scrublands, plantations, rural gardens and even urban areas. they occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

Diet:
They feed on fruits and insects, including beetles and caterpillars.

Breeding:
Fawn-breasted bowerbirds can breed all year round. They are polygynous, with males building elaborate bowers where they display to attract females. After matting the female builds the nest, a fairly large bowl made of sticks, vine tendrils and bark strips, which is lined with finer twigs and sometimes grass stems. The nest is placed in a tree or scrub, up to 10 m above the ground. There the female lays a 1-2 cream or pale olive green eggs with brownish markings which she incubates alone, but there is no information on the length of the incubation period. the chicks fledge about 3 weeks after hatching.

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

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Erckel's francolin

Pternistis erckelii

Photo by Jim Denny (Flickr)

Common name:
Erckel's francolin (en); francolim-de-Erckell (pt); francolin d'Erckel (fr); francolín de Erckel (es); Erckelfrankolin (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

Range:
This species is found in Eritrea, northern Ethiopia and eastern Sudan.

Size:
These birds are 39-43 cm long and weigh 1.050-1.590 g.

Habitat:
The Erckel's francolin is mostly found in high-altitude scrublands, favouring areas dominated by Carissa, Rumex, Maytenus and Rosa, but also use moist tropical forests, rivers and stream. They occur at altitudes of 2.000-3.500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seeds, shoots and berries, but also take some insects.

Breeding:
Erckel's francolins breed in April-November and are believed to be monogamous. They nest in a scrape in the ground, where the female lays 4-10 eggs. The eggs are incubated for 21-23 days and the chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and follow the mother around while being able to feed themselves.

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

Monday, 23 February 2015

Island monarch

Monarcha cinerascens

Photo by Joseph Monkhouse (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
island monarch (en); monarca-ilhéu (pt); monarque des ilês (fr); monarca isleño (es); graukopfmonarch (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

Range:
This species is found in the islands of eastern Indonesia, west of New Guinea, including Timor, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and the Lesser Sundas, and also on the islands off northern and eastern New Guinea and in the Solomon islands.

Size:
These birds are 16,5-19 cm long and weigh about 30 g.

Habitat:
The island monarch is mostly found in moist tropical forests, in low hills and lower mountainous areas. They also use coastal dry scrublands and plantations.

Diet:
They feed primarily on small invertebrates, such as ants, small cockroaches, grasshoppers, thrips and springtails, also eating fruits such as wild figs.

Breeding:
Island monarchs can possibly breed all year round. The nest is a bulky cup made of dried grass, plant fibres, black vine tendrils and moss, and is placed on a sloping fork of a scrub or small tree 6-17 m above the ground or over water. The female lays 1-2 eggs, but there is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

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