Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Pleske's grasshopper-warbler

Locustella pleskei

Photo by Nial Moores (Birds Korea)

Common name:
Pleske's grasshopper warbler (en); cigarrinha-de-Pleske (pt); locustelle de Pleske (fr); buscarla de Pleske (es); Pleske-schwirl (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

This Asian species breeds only in a few small offshore islands along the Pacific coast, from the southernmost parts of eastern Russia, through the Korean peninsula and Japan and south to eastern China. They migrate south to winter in southern China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

These birds are 15-17 cm long and weigh 16-24 g.

The Pleske's grasshopper-warbler breeds in open, wet areas of thick grasses, reeds, or low bushes, almost exclusively on small offshore islets. During winter they are found in reedbeds and in low scrubs near reedbeds and mangroves.

They are believed to take insects and other small arthropods.

Pleske's grasshopper-warblers breed in May-July. The nest is hidden among grasses or in a low willow thickets or scrub, less than 2 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-6 eggs which are incubated for 14 days. The chicks fledge 13-15 days after hatching.

IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a very restricted breeding range and a global population estimated at just 2.500-10.000 individuals. The population is believed to be undergoing a moderate decline caused by the impact of human activities both in their breeding and wintering areas. The may threats include habitat loss and degradation, environmental contamination and even volcanic eruptions in at least one of the islands where they breed.

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