Saturday, 23 August 2014

Lesser spotted woodpecker

Dendrocopos minor

Photo by Zsombor Károlyi (Zsombor Károlyi's Photo Blog)

Common name:
lesser spotted woodpecker (en); pica-pau-malhado-pequeno (pt); pic épeichette (fr); pico menor (es); kleinspecht (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

Range:
This species is found through continental Europe and southern Great Britain, through Turkey and the Caucasus into northern Iran, and along the middle and southern latitudes of Russia into northern Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia, North Korea and northern Japan.

Size:
These birds are 14-16,5 cm long and have a wingspan of 24-29 cm. They weigh 16-28 g.

Habitat:
The lesser spotted woodpecker is mostly found in temperate and boreal deciduous forests, also using the vegetation surrounding fresh water lakes and rivers, rural gardens and urban parks. they occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They feed on small adult and larval insects such as caterpillars, aphids, ants, beetles, and other surface-dwelling arthropods, taken from decaying wood, but also from the surface of branches and from reeds.

Breeding:
Lesser spotted woodpeckers breed in April-July and are mostly monogamous with pair bonds sometimes extending over several years. They nest on a hole excavated in a decaying tree, usually 3-20 m above the ground, where the female lays 4-8 white eggs. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 13-14 days and the chicks fledge 19-21 days after hatching. Each pair usually raises a single brood per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 2,8-13,2 million individuals. The population in Europe have undergone a moderate decline over the last 3 decades, possibly owing to loss of deciduous habitats, loss of orchards, forest fragmentation and admixture of conifers.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Pearly-vented tody-tyrant

Hemitriccus margaritaceiventer

Photo by Hector Bottai (Wikipedia)

Common name:
pearly-vented tody-tyrant (en); sebinho-de-olho-dourado (pt); todirostre à ventre perle (fr); titirijí perlado (es); perlbauch-todityrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found in two disjunct areas of South America. They are found in western and northern Colombia and throughout northern Venezuela into western Guyana. Also from Bolivia and central and eastern Brazil south to Paraguay and northern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 10-10,5 cm long and weigh 7-10 g.

Habitat:
The pearly-vented tody-tyrant is mostly found in dry scrublands and among the lower growth of dry deciduous woodlands, also using moist scrublands and pastures. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They forage alone or in pairs, among the lower levels of the vegetation, taking various insects.

Breeding:
These birds breed in January-June in the northern part of their range and in October-December in the southern part. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of an elongated, domed purse with a side entrance, made of grasses, plant fibres and spider webs, and lined with plant down. It is placed hanging from a branch of a scrub, small tree or herb. The female lays 2-3 light-coloured eggs, which she incubates alone for 13-15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-14 days after hatching.

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

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Southern masked-weaver

Ploceus velatus

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
southern masked-weaver (en); tecelão-de-mascarilha (pt); tisserin à tête rousse (fr); tejedor enmascarado (es); maskenweber (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Ploceidae

Range:
This species is found in southern Africa, from southern Angola, Zambia and Malawi south to South Africa. It has also been introduced to the island of São Tomé.

Size:
These birds are 11-15 cm long and weigh 25-35 g.

Habitat:
The southern masked-weaver is found in semi-arid scrublands and open savannas, edges of dry tropical forests, riverine thickets, pastures and arable land with scattered trees, plantations, rural gardens and urban areas.

Diet:
They feed on seeds of grasses and other plants, fruits, flowers and nectar, as well as adult and larval insects, and human scraps.

Breeding:
Southern masked-weavers breed in July-April. They are polygynous, with males building nests to attract females and then mating with up to 12 females in a single breeding season. They nest in colonies of up to 9 males, and each nest is a kidney-shaped structure with a large entrance on the bottom, made of woven grass, palm leaves or reeds with a ceiling of leaves. It is placed hanging from a tree, reed or even a barbed wire fence. If a female accepts the nest she will line it with leaves, grass inflorescences and feathers, and lay 2-4 eggs that can have various colour to evade parasitisation by cuckoos. The female incubates the eggs alone for 12-14 days and then feeds the chicks alone until they fledge 15-17 days after hatching. Each female can raise multiple broods per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common to abundant in most of this range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. In fact, they adapted well to the introduction of man-made habitats, using Eucalyptus and other alien trees in areas which were previously barren, such as the Namib desert.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Fiery-throated hummingbird

Panterpe insignis

Photo by Joseph Boone (Wikipedia)

Common name:
fiery-throated hummingbird (en); colibri-garganta-de-fogo (pt); colibri insigne (fr); colibrí insigne (es); feuerkehlkolibri (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found along Cordillera de Guanacaste and Cordillera de Tilarán, from northern Costa Rica to western Panama.

Size:
These birds are 10,5-11 cm long. The females are smaller than males, weighing 5 g while males weigh 6 g.

Habitat:
The fiery-throated in mostly found in moist tropical forests in mountainous areas, including cloud forests and elfin forests, also using timberline scrublands and grasslands, second growths and pastures. They occur at altitudes of 1.400-3.200 m.

Diet:
They feed on the nectar, visiting the flowers of various epyphytes, particularly ericads, bromeliads and gesneriads, as well as those of scrubs and small trees such as Centropogon valerii and Gaiadendron.

Breeding:
Fiery-throated hummingbirds breed in August-January. Males are territorial and will mate with multiple females, having no further part in the breeding process. The female builds the nest, a bulky cup made of treefern scales and plant down woven together with cobwebs and heavily decorate the outside with moss and lichens. It is placed usually placed at the end of a drooping bamboo stems or rootlets overhanging a bank, 2-4 m above the ground. There she lays 2 white eggs which she incubates for 14-19 days. She raises the chicks alone and they fledge 18-28 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively small breeding range, but is described as common to abundant over most this range. There is no information on population trends, but there are no known relevant threats at present. However, due to its mountainous distribution, global warming may in the future restrict their range to higher altitudes.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Streak-capped antwren

Terenura maculata

Photo by Luíz Ribenboim (ICMBio)

Common name:
streak-capped antwren (en); zidedê (pt); grisin à tête rayée (fr); tiluchí enano (es); rostrücken-ameisenfänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

Range:
This is found in south-eastern Brazil, from Bahia south to Parana and Santa Catarina, and marginally into south-eastern Paraguay and north-eastern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 9-10 cm long and weigh about 7 g.

Habitat:
The streak-capped antwren is found in the canopy and mid-storey of rainforests and second growths, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.250 m.

Diet:
They feed on small insects and spiders.

Breeding:
They nest in a small pending cup-nest, but nothing else is known about their reproduction.

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

Monday, 18 August 2014

Asian glossy starling

Aplonis panayensis

Photo by Yap Lip Kee (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Asian glossy starling (en); estorninho-bronzeado (pt); stourne bronzé (fr); estornino bronceado (es); Malaienstar (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sturnidae

Range:
This species is found in southern Bangladesh and extreme eastern India, through southern Myanmar and southern Thailand and into southern Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Indonesian islands of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi.

Size:
These birds are 20 cm long and weigh 50-60 g.

Habitat:
The Asian glossy starling is mostly found in moist tropical forests and plantations, often along forest edges and in forest clearings. They also use second growths, mangroves and other coastal vegetation, arable land, rural gardens and even urban areas. they are present from sea level up to an altitude of 700 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on fruits, but also take berries, nuts, nectar and arthropods such as adult and larval beetles, caterpillars, mole crickets, grasshoppers and spiders.

Breeding:
Asian glossy starlings breed in January-August, varying among different parts of their range. They are probably monogamous and can nest either in solitary pairs or in colonies. They nest in cavities, using natural cavities, old woodpecker nests and holes in cliffs or banks, as well as nest boxes. Inside the hole they build a rough cup made of roots, grass and leaves, where the female lays 3 bluish eggs with dark markings. there is no available information on the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

White-faced quail-dove

Geptrygon albifacies

Photo by Michael Retter (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
white-faced quail-dove (en); juriti-de-faces-brancas (pt); colombe des nuages (fr); paloma-perdiz cariblanca (es); sclatertaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is found from central and southern Mexico south to northwestern Nicaragua.

Size:
These birds are 28-36 cm long and weigh 180-300 g.

Habitat:
The white-faced quail-dove is found in humid evergreen and pine evergreen mountain forests, also using shade coffee plantations. They occur at altitudes of 1.000-2.700 m.

Diet:
They possibly feed on fallen fruits, seeds and perhaps also insects and other small invertebrates, like other similar quail-doves.

Breeding:
These birds can possibly breed all year round, but with a peak in March-June. The nest is a frail platform of sticks, well concealed among the forest undergrowth, 0,5-6 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 pale buff eggs, which are incubated for 11-13 days. There is no information regarding the fledgling period.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction in many parts of their range.