Saturday, 16 June 2012

Puerto Rican tody

Todus mexicanus

Photo by Vanessa Ortiz (Talking Naturally)

Common name:
Puerto Rican tody (en); todi de Porto Rico (pt); todier de Porto Rico (fr); San Pedrito (es); gelbflankentodi (de)

Order Coraciiformes
Family Todidae

This species is endemic to the archipelago of Puerto Rico.

These birds are 11 cm long and weigh 5-6,5 g.

The Puerto Rican tody is found in almost all habitats available within its range, including rainforests, wet woodlands, dry scrublands and shaded coffee plantations, often near watercourses. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

They mostly eat insects such as mantises, bees, wasps, ants, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, bugs, moths, butterflies, dragonflies, flies, and also spiders. These birds are also known to take small lizards and fruits are often used to feed the chicks.

Puerto Rican todies are monogamous and nest in long burrows, excavated by both sexes in earth banks. The female lays 1-4 glossy white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 21-22 days. The chicks are fed by both parents, and some times by helpers, and fledge 19-20 days after hatching. They only become fully independent 3 weeks later. Each pair raises a single clutch per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a small breeding range, but is described as common within this range. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to predation by the introduced Indian mongoose, habitat destruction and increasing use of non-shade coffee plantations

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