Thursday, 7 June 2012

Greater thornbird

Phacellodomus ruber

Photo by Markus Lagerqvist (Pbase)

Common name:
greater thronbird (en); graveteiro (pt); synallaxe rouge (fr); espinero grande (es)rotbrauner bündelnister (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

This South American species is found in central and southern Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, northern Argentina and northern Uruguay.

These birds are 19-21 cm long and weigh 35-50 g.

Greater thornbirds are found in the undergrowth of tropical moist forests, in moist scrublands, riverine thickets, marshes and degraded former forests. They are present at altitudes of 300-1.400 m.

They forage on the ground, among dense vegetation or near the edges of water bodies, taking insects, such as ants and beetles, and other small invertebrates.

The greater thornbird breeds in October-January. The nest is a bulky, cone-shaped structure, made of sticks, twigs, and branches and lined with fine grasses and feathers. It is placed in low vegetation, 1-3 m above the ground, and often over water. The female lays 3-4 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 20-22 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and possible fledge 25-29 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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