Sunday, 15 May 2011

Luzon bleeding-heart

Gallicolumba luzonica

Photo by Ken Ilio (Flickr)

Common name:

Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

This species is endemic to the central and southern regions of Luzon and the smaller offshore island Polillo, in The Philippines.

The Luzon bleeding-heart is 30 cm long and has a wingspan of 38 cm. They weigh 180-190 g.

They are mostly found in primary and secondary forests from sea level up to an altitude of 1.400 m.

They feed on seeds, fallen berries and a variety of insects and worms found on the forest floor.

These monogamous birds usually pair for life. They nest in May-August, building a cup-shaped nest out of twigs and other plant material. The is placed on bushes or creeping plants, not far from the ground. There the female lays 2 creamy white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 15-17 days. The chicks are fed crop-milk by both parents and fledge 10-14 days after hatching, but stay with their parents for up to 3 months.

IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a restricted breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the species is described as usually rather scarce or rare. There are no data on population trends; however, the species is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, owing to habitat degradation and hunting. These birds are trapped for meat and for sale in the pet trade and in recent years a lot of land was damaged with the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. Logging is the main cause of habitat degradation for this species.

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