Thursday, 12 March 2015

Great potoo

Nyctibius grandis

Photo by Philip Perry (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
great potoo (en); urutau-gigante (pt); grand ibijau (fr); nictibio grande (es); riesentagschläfer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Caprimulgiformes
Family Nyctibiidae

Range:
This species is found from extreme southern Mexico, through Central America into Colombia, Venezuela and the Guyanas, and southwards east of the Andes down to central Bolivia, northern Paraguay and south-eastern Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 45-60 cm long and have a wingspan of 70-80 cm. They weigh 320-650 g.

Habitat:
The great potoo is mostly found in the canopy of lowland rainforests, also using moist savannas, second growths and plantations.

Diet:
They hunt at night, mainly taking flying insects such as beetles, katydids and grasshoppers, but also bats.

Breeding:
Great potoos are monogamous and can possibly breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. They don't build nests, laying their single egg in a deep notch in a large tree branch. Both parents incubate the egg but there is no information regarding the length of the incubation period. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 55 days after hatching. Each pair raises a single chick per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and has a global population estimated at 500.000-5.000.000 individuals. There is no information on population trends, but the great potoo is estimated to lose 19-25% of suitable habitat over the next 2 decades, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. It is therefore expected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Minas gerais tyrannulet

Phylloscartes roquettei

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
Minas Gerais tyrannulet (en); cara-dourada (pt); tyranneau de Minas Gerais (fr); orejerito de Minas Gerais (es); gelbbürzel-laubtyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is endemic to south-eastern Brazil, only being found in northern Minas Gerais and southern Bahia.

Size:
These birds are 11-12 cm long and weigh about 8 g.

Habitat:
The Minas Gerais tyrannulet is found in dry tropical forests, riparian forests and semi-deciduous forests within cerrado including second growths and forest fragments. They occur at altitudes of 400-900 m.

Diet:
They forage in pairs or family groups, taking small arthropods from the foliage.

Breeding:
Minas Gerais tyrannulets possibly breed in October-February. The nest is a small, globular structure. There is no further information on the reproduction of this species.

Conservation:
IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a large breeding range but the global population is estimated at just 1.500-7.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining at a very rapid rate due to habitat loss through charcoal burning, forest cutting for pasture, cattle ranching and agricultural development. The São Francisco basin is also threatened by limestone quarrying and a large-scale irrigation project that has already resulted in the loss of large areas of forest.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Peruvian wren

Cinnycerthia peruana

Photo by Nick Athanas (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Peruvian wren (en); carriça-do-Perú (pt); troglodyte brun (fr); cucarachero peruano (es); sepiazaunkönig (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Troglodytidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Peru, being found in the eastern Andes from Amazonas to Ayacucho.

Size:
These birds are 15,5-16 cm long and weigh about 20 g.

Habitat:
The Peruvian wren is found in mountain rainforests, including forests edges and nearby second growths, at altitudes of 1.500-3.400 m.

Diet:
They forage on or near the ground, possibly taking small invertebrates.

Breeding:
Peruvian wrens possibly breed in June-February. The nest is purse-shaped and made of small roots interwoven with green moss. It is placed hanging from a bamboo. There the female lays 2 creamy-white eggs with reddish-brown spots. There is no 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 common. However, the population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Wire-crested thorntail

Discosura popelairii

Photo by Niels Dreyer (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
wire-crested thorntail (en); bandeirinha-de-Popelaire (pt); coquette de Popelaire (fr); rabudito crestado (es); haubenfadenelfe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found along the eastern slopes of the Andes, from central Colombia to southern Peru.

Size:
These birds are sexually dimorphic. The females are 7,5-8 cm long, while the males are up to 11,5 cm long including the elongated tail feathers. They weigh about 2,5 g.

Habitat:
The wire-crested thorntail is found in moist tropical forests at altitudes of 400-1.200 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on nectar, particularly of Inga trees, but also take some arthropods.

Breeding:
The is little information about the reproduction of wire-crested thorntails. One nest was found in Colombia, in April, placed at the end of a tree branch about 8 m above the ground.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a large breeding range but is described as generally rare to uncommon. Although there is no data on population trends, the wire-crested thorntail is suspected to lose 28% of suitable habitat within its range over the next decade based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, being therefore suspected to suffer a moderately rapid decline in the near future.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Mountain wren-babbler

Napothera crassa

Photo by James Eaton (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
mountain wren-babbler (en); zaragateiro-pequeno-montês (pt); turdinule des montagnes (fr); ratina montana (es); blasskehltimalie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

Range:
This species is endemic to northern Borneo, being found along the border between Malaysia and Indonesia, and also in Brunei.

Size:
These birds are 14 cm long and weigh about 25 g.

Habitat:
The mountain wren-babbler is found in dense, moist tropical forests, mainly in mountainous areas, but also at lower altitudes.

Diet:
They feed on insects, such as grasshoppers, and small snails.

Breeding:
Mountain wren-babblers breed in February-August. They nest in a cup made of grasses, placed in moss-covered bank by a forest trail. The female lays 2 white eggs. There is no 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 uncommon in Sabah and common in Mount Kinabalu National Park and in Gunung Niut Nature Reserve. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Crescent honeyeater

Phylidonyris pyrrhopterus

Photo by J.J. Harrison (Wikipedia)

Common name:
crescent honeyeater (en); melífago-d'asa-dourada (pt); méliphage à croissants (fr); mielero alifuego (es); goldflügel-honigfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is found in endemic to south-eastern Australia, being found from north-eastern New South Wales to south-eastern South Australia, and in Tasmania and islands in the Bass Strait.

Size:
These birds are 14-17 cm long and have a wingspan of 16-23 cm. They weigh 12-23 g.

Habitat:
The crescent honeyeater is mostly found in tall, Eucalyptus-dominated sclerophyll forests, also using dry scrublands, plantations and urban areas.

Diet:
They feed on nectar, fruit and insects, as well as manna, honeydew and lerp.

Breeding:
Crescent honeyeaters can breed all year round and form long-term pair bonds. They nest in loose colonies, each female building a deep cup made of of cobweb, bark, grass, twigs, roots and other plant materials, and lined with grass, down, moss and fur. It is placed in the centre of a scrub, often near water. there she lays 2-3 pale pink eggs with lavender and chestnut splotches, which she incubates alone for 13 days. The chicks are raised by both parents and fledge 13 days after hatching, but only become fully independent about 2 weeks later.

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.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Eurasian sparrowhawk

Accipiter nisus

Photo by Tomi Muukkonen (Vogelwarte)

Common name:
Eurasian sparrowhawk (en); gavião-da-Europa (pt); épervier d'Europe (fr); gavilán común (es); sperber (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Falconiformes
Family Accipitridae

Range:
This species breeds throughout most of Eurasia, from western Europe to eastern Russia and south to Japan, Korea and central China. They also breed in Morocco, Tunisia, northern Algeria and the Canary Islands. The more northern and eastern populations migrate south to winter in southern Asia and in eastern Africa along the Nile basin.

Size:
These birds are 28-40 cm long and have a wingspan of 56-78. Females tend to be larger than males, weighing 185-350 g while males weigh 105-195 g.

Habitat:
The Eurasian sparrowhawk is found in a wide range of forest habitats, including coniferous, deciduous and mixed in boreal, temperate and tropical areas, usually favouring areas interspersed with open areas such as scrublands, savannas and arable land. They also use plantations, rural gardens and urban areas. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 4.500 m.

Diet:
They mainly hunt passerines, but can take birds up to the size of a pigeon, jay or even a small grouse. Occasionally, also small mammals such as voles, shrews, young rabbits and squirrels, and small lizards and amphibians, and rarely insects and carrion.

Breeding:
Eurasian sparrowhawks are monogamous and breed in April-August. the nest is mainly built by the male, consisting of a platform of sticks and twigs placed in a fork in a tree about 6-12 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-6 white eggs which she incubates alone for 32-34 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 24-30 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 20-30 days later. they reach sexual maturity at 1-3 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated to be above 1,5 million individuals. In Europe the population is suspected to be stable at present. The population suffered dramatic declines during the 1950s and 1960s due to widespread use of organochlorine pesticides such as DDT, but it has since recovered following bans on harmful pesticides.