Sunday, 20 April 2014

Bright-rumped attila

Attila spadiceus

Photo by Greg Lavaty (Osa Recording Project)

Common name:
bright-rumped attila (en); capitão-de-saíra-amarelo (pt); atila polimorfo (es); gelbbürzel-attilatyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found from western and southern Mexico south to Bolivia and north-western Brazil. There is also a disjunct population in coastal south-eastern Brazil, from Pernambuco to Rio de Janeiro.

Size:
These birds are 18-19 cm long and weigh 40 g.

Habitat:
The bright-rumped attila is mostly found in moist tropical forests, but also in dry tropical forests, savannas, second growths, banana and cacao plantations and rural gardens. They tend to favour forests edges and gallery forests and occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.100 m.

Diet:
They hunt insects and spiders, also taking frogs, lizards, berries and seeds.

Breeding:
These birds breed in March-July. The nest is a bulky cup made of fibrous rootlets, rachises of compound leaves, and pieces of green fern frond or moss. It is lined with finer materials and placed among epiphytes, between buttresses or on a river or road bank, usually 0,8-3 m above the ground. The female lays 3-4 whitish, pinkish or yellowish eggs with brown to lilac spots and speckles, which she incubates alone for 14-15 days. the chicks fledge 17 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The bright-rumped attila is suspected to loose 12,5-13,5% of suitable habitat within its range over the next decade, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Therefore, it is suspected to undergo a small decline in the near future.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Galapagos rail

Laterallus spilonotus

Photo by George Armistead (Neotropical Birds)

Common name:
Galapagos rail (en);  franga-d'água-das-Galápagos (pt); râle des Galapagos (fr); polluela de Galápagos (es); galapagosralle (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Gruiformes
Family Rallidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, where it occurs on the islands of Pinta, Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Floreana, and San Cristóbal.

Size:
These birds are 15-16 cm long and weigh 35-45 g.

Habitat:
The Galapagos rail is mostly found in high-altitude grasslands and scrublands, especially ferns and sedges, as well as moist forests and freshwater lakes and marshes. They also use mangroves and arable land. This species is present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.700 m.

Diet:
They are mainly insectivorous, taking ants, dragonflies, moths, bugs, isopods, spiders, amphipods and snails. They are also known to eat the seeds of Miconia robinsonia and a few other plants.

Breeding:
Galapagos rails are monogamous and breed in September-April. They nest on the ground, in a cup made of plant stems with a side entrance. The female lays 3-6 beige eggs with reddish-brown and grey speckles, which are incubated by both parents for 23-25 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and reach adult size 80-85 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively small and disjunct breeding range. The global population is estimated at 3.300-6.700 individuals. The population is estimated to be declining at rate of 9% per year, possibly due to predation by introduced mammals such as rats, cats, dogs and pigs, and natural predators like the short-eared owl Asio flammeus and the barn owl Tyto alba. Another threat is habitat destruction as a result of grazing by introduced herbivores such as goats, cattle and horses. The small size of several of the populations If makes them vulnerable to extinction through natural disturbances, inbreeding and population changes of predators and herbivores. The invasion of the highlands of Santa Cruz by exotic Cinchona may lead to a reduction in the fern and sedge vegetation types it favours.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Tawny-winged woodcreeper

Dendrocincla anabatina

Photo by Marc Fasol (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
tawny-winged woodcreeper (en); arapaçu-d'asa-ruiva (pt); grimpar à ailes rousses (fr); trepatroncos sepia (es); lohschwingen-baumsteiger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Dendrocolaptidae

Range:
This species is found in Central America, from southern Mexico down to Costa Rica and marginally into Panama.

Size:
These birds are 17-19 cm long and weigh about 40 g.

Habitat:
The tawny-winged woodcreeper is mostly found in evergreen and semi-deciduous moist tropical forests, also using second growth, dense scrublands and mangroves. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.250 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects, but also take small lizards and some plant material. They often
follow groups of squirrel monkeys and army ant swarms to capture fleeing insects.


Breeding:
Tawny-winged woodcreepers nest in tree cavities or hollow trunks, 1,5-6 m above the ground, which they line with plant fibres and lichens. There the female lays 2 eggs which she incubates alone for 20-21 days. The chicks are raised by the mother and fledge 23-25 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Double-eyed fig-parrot

Cyclopsitta diophthalma

Photo by Carl Stow (Wikipedia)

Common name:
double-eyed fig-parrot (en); papagaio-do-figo-de-cara-azul (pt); psittacule double-œil (fr); lorito dobleojo (es); maskenzwergpapagei (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

Range:
This species is found in New Guinea and neighbouring islands, as well as along the north-eastern coast of Queensland, in Australia.

Size:
These tiny parrots are 14-16 cm long and weigh 39-55 g.

Habitat:
The double-eyed fig-parrot is found in moist tropical forests, mangroves, second growths, forests edges, riverine forests and occasionally dry forest and open eucalypt woodland. In Australia, they also use rural gardens and parks within urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.600 m.

Diet:
They feed on seeds, mainly Ficus seeds, which they take from ripe or near-ripe fruits.

Breeding:
These birds breed in March-December. The nest is a hole excavated mainly by the female on a rotten tree trunk or a dead limb in a living tree, some 12 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 18-21 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 27-52 days after hatching, but only become fully independent about 10 days later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 100.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Willow warbler

Phylloscopus trochilus

Photo by Arend Wassink (Birds of Kazakhstan)

Common name:
willow warbler (en); felosa-musical (pt); pouillot fitis (fr); mosquitero musical (es); fitis (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

Range:
This species throughout most of Europe and northern Asia, from the northern Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles to northern Scandinavia and east through Poland and the Ukraine into most of Russia as far as the pacific coast and south to northern Kazakhstan and marginally into Mongolia. they migrate south and south-west to winter throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Size:
These birds are 11-12,5 cm long and have a wingspan of 17-22 cm. They weigh 6-15 g.

Habitat:
The willow warbler is found breeding in a wide range of habitats, including deciduous and mixed forests in both temperate and boreal areas, forest clearings, open scrubby woodlands, scrublands, plantations, orchards and gardens. Outside the breeding season they also use mangroves, tropical forests, dry grasslands and savannas, swamps and lakes. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on small insects and spiders, as well as their eggs and larvae. Outside the breeding season fruits, berries and other plant materials are also an important part of their diet.

Breeding:
Willow warblers breed in April-August. The nest is built mostly by the female, consisting of a domed structure made of dry grass, leaves, stems, moss, lichen, twigs and bark woven together, and lined with animal hair and feathers. It is usually placed on the ground, well concealed among grass or at the base of a scrub or tree. Occasionally, the willow warbler may place the nest in a tree, crevice or creeper, up to 5 m above the ground. The female lays 4-8 glossy white eggs with reddish-brown speckles, which she mainly incubates alone for 10-16 days. The chicks are fed mostly by the female and fledge 11-15 days after hatching, becoming fully independent 2 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population roughly estimated at 340-1.200 million individuals. In Europe, populations have undergone a moderate decline over the last 3 decades.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Little tinamou

Crypturellus soui

Photo by João Quental (Wiki Aves)

Common name:
little tinamou (en); tururim (pt); tinamou soui (fr); tinamú chico (es); brauntinamu (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Tinamiformes
Family Tinamidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Mexico down to Bolivia and Brazil as far south as Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro.

Size:
These birds are 20-24 cm long and weigh 170-250 g.

Habitat:
The little tinamou is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using moist tropical scrublands, second growths and plantations such as pines, coffee, bananas, cassava and sugarcane. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, taking seeds, berries, insects and occasionally frogs. The seeds taken include Panicum, Paspalum, Scleria, Amaranthus, a spurge, oxalis, mallow, grape, passionflower, Styrax, and Solanum. They are known to hunt cockroaches, ants, termites, beetles, bugs and caterpillars.

Breeding:
Little tinamous can breed all year round. The nest is a small scrap on the forest floor, usually under a thick scrub and sometimes lined with leaves. There the female lays 1-2 glossy purple eggs, which the male incubates alone for 16-20 days. The chicks leave the nest within 24 h of hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The little tinamou is suspected to lose 18-23% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 2 decades based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Given its susceptibility to hunting and trapping, it is therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Black-and-white tanager

Conothraupis speculigera

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
black-and-white tanager (en); tiê-preto-e-branco (pt); tangara à miroir blanc (fr); tangara albinegra (es); spiegeltangare (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

Range:
This species breeds in the western slope of the Andes in south-western Ecuador and north-western Peru. They migrate east to winter on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Peruvian Amazonia and marginally into Brazil and Bolivia.

Size:
These birds are 16 cm long and weigh 23-28 g.

Habitat:
The black-and-white tanager breeds in deciduous woodland, gallery forests and riparian thickets up to an altitude of 1.950 m. outside the breeding season they move to lower altitudes and use the edges of tropical rainforests, second growths and riparian habitats.

Diet:
They feed on insects and seeds.

Breeding:
These birds breed in February-May. The nest is an untidy, loosely woven cup made of sticks and leaf petioles, lined with dark fungal rhizomorphs. It is placed in a small tree or scrub, 0,5-2,5 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-4 whitish to pale bluish eggs with reddish-brown and black speckles and blotches. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a relatively large breeding range, but is described as uncommon and patchily distributed. The black-and-white tanager is suspected to lose 10% of suitable habitat within its distribution over the next decade, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation and is therefore expected to suffer a small decline in the near future. It is threatened by deforestation and understorey degradation, which may be further isolating populations within its already disjunct range.