Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Three-toed jacamar

Jacamaralcyon tridactyla

Photo by João Quental (Tree of Life)

Common name:
three-toed jacamar (en); cuitelão (pt); jacamar tridactyle (fr); jacamará tridáctilo (es); dreizehen-glanzvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galbuliformes
Family Galbulidae

Range:
The three-toed jacamar is endemic to south-east Brazil, from northern Minas Gerais south to north-west Paraná.

Size:
These birds are 17-20 cm long and weigh 17,5-19 g.

Habitat:
They are found in subtropical or tropical dry forests, and in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, mostly near river banks. They can also be found in degraded areas where the native vegetations has been replaced by plantations, namely Eucaplytus.
Diet:
They forage on small insects in flight, showing a preference for small cryptic Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera. Birds also take Diptera, Odonata, Homoptera, Hemiptera and Isoptera.

Breeding:
Three-toed jacamars breed in September-February. They nest in cavities excavated in earth banks and there is evidence that females are responsible for most of the excavating. They are possibly colonial, as up to 20 holes have been recorded in same bank. Each clutch consists of 2-4 eggs which are incubated by both parents.

Conservation:
IUCN status - Vu (Vulnerable)
With a restricted breeding range and a declining population estimated at as little as 1000 individuals, the species is threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation and is currently considered vulnerable.

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