Monday, 24 October 2011

Boat-billed flycatcher

Megarynchus pitangua

Photo by Steve Garvie (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
boat-billed flycatcher (en); neinei (pt); tyran pitangua (fr); bienteveo pitanguá (es); starkschnabel-maskentyrann (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

This species is found from Mexico south to Bolivia, southern Brazil and Argentina, and also in the Caribbean island of Trinidad.

This large tyrant flycatcher is 23 cm long and weighs 60-80 g.

These birds are mostly found in dry open woodlands and scrublands, but are also ound in moist forests, degraded former forests, rural gardens and plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.900 m.

Boat-billed flycatchers mostly eat insects and berries, but are also known to hunt small lizards and birds.

They breed in March-July. The female is responsible for building the nest, an open saucer of sticks lined with rootlets, placed on a tree 7-30 m above the ground. There she lays 2-3 whitish eggs with brown and lilac blotches, which are incubated by both parents for 17-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 23-26 days after hatching. Each pair may raise 1-2 broods per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 5-50 million individuals. Boat-billed flycatcher tolerate degraded habitats, and are therefore likely to resist large-scale habitat changes taking place throughout their range. Consequently, the population is suspected to be stable.

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