Saturday, 3 September 2011

Jacky winter

Microeca fascinans

Photo by Deane Lewis (Australian Birds, Wildlife and Nature)

Common name:
Jacky winter (en); rouxinol-encantador (pt); miro enchanteur (fr); petroica fascinante (es); weißschwanzschnäpper (de)
Order Passeriformes
Family Petroicidae
This species is found throughout mainland Australia and in south-eastern New Guinea.
The Jacky winter is 12-14 cm long and weighs 15 g.
These birds generally prefer open woodland with an open shrub layer and a lot of bare ground. They also found in lightly timbered farmland and occasionally in gardens.
They usually sally for flying insects from a perch, but will also take insect larvae, beetles, and worms from the ground.
Jacky winters breed in August-January. They build a very small cup nest made from grass and strips of bark, bound with spiders web on the fork of a dead branch. There the female lays 2-3 pale blue eggs, which she incubates alone for 16-17 days while being fed by the male. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 14-17 days after hatching.
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, it is reported to be normally scarce or absent from settled areas but locally quite common elsewhere. The population is estimated to be declining following declines owing to agricultural and urban development.

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