Monday, 6 December 2010

Violaceous euphonia

Euphonia violacea

Photo by Dario Sanches (Wikipedia)

Common name:
violaceous euphonia (en); gaturamo-verdadeiro (pt); organiste teité (fr); fruterito violáceo (es); veilchenorganist (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

The violaceous euphonia is a South American species found in Brasil, in the lower Amazon basin, north to Suriname, the Guyanas and eastern Venezuela, and south to the easternmost parts of Paraguay and Argentina. They are also found in Trinidad and Tobago.

These birds are is 11-12 cm long and have a wingspan of 16-17 cm. They weigh 14-15 g.

The violaceous euphonia is found is forest edges, clearings, secondary forests and plantations of cocoa and citrus fruits. They are also found in urban parks and gardens but avoid dry open habitats.

These birds are mostly frugivorous, eating small fruits and berries, namely mistletoe berries. They may occasionally take insects.

The violaceous euphonia breeds during the southern Spring and Summer in November-February. They build a ball nest on a bank, tree stump or cavity. The female lays 3-4 red-blotched white egg which she then incubates alone for 15 days. The chicks become independent after 35 days.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
They have a very large breeding range. Although there is no reliable population estimate, the population is believed to be stable and with no substantial threats.

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