Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Royal cinclodes

Cinclodes aricomae

Photo by Jean Talla (Chocolate Caramelo)

Common name:
royal cinclodes (en); curriqueiro-real (pt); cinclode royal (fr); remolinera real (es); weißkehl-uferwipper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

The royal cinclodes is restricted to a few small areas in the Andes of south-east Peru (Cuzco, Apurímac, Puno and Junín) and adjacent Bolivia (La Paz).

This species is 20-21 cm long and weighs 50 g.

This species is mostly confined to tiny, humid patches of Polylepis woodland and mountain scrub, but can also be found in Gynoxis woodland. They are found at altitudes of 3.500-4.800 m above sea level.

The diet of the royal cinclodes consists of invertebrates which they find in moss, leaf litter and decaying wood. They may occasionally take small vertebrates, like frogs, and seeds are also sometimes eaten.

These birds nest in November-March. The the nest is built at the end of a tunnel dug into a bank or cliff face, although natural crevices and rodent burrows can also be used for nesting. The female lays 2 eggs but there is no further breeding information about this species.

IUCN status - CR (Critically Endangered)
This species has a very small, fragmented and declining breeding range, and the population is down to just 50-250 individuals. The species is suspected to be rapidly declining owing to the loss of Polylepis forest as well as burning and grazing which cause degradation and loss of understorey moss and prevent regeneration. altogether the royal cinclodes is currently considered critically endangered.

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