Tuesday, 20 November 2012

White-rumped tanager

Cypsnagra hirundinacea

Photo by Ciro Albano (Flickr)

Commons name:
white-rumped tanager (en); bandoleta (pt); tangara hirundinacé (fr); bandoleta (es); weißbürzeltangare (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

This South American species is found from eastern Bolivia east to north-eastern Brazil and northern Paraguay.

These birds are 16-16,5 cm long and weigh 24-34 g.

These birds are found in dry savannas and scrublands, namely in cerrado and campo habitats. They are also found in agricultural areas, and at the edges of human settlements.

They are mainly insectivorous, taking caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, flying ants, termites and spiders, but will also eat the fruits of Byrsonima, Anonna, Eugenia, and Erythroxulum.

The white-rumped tanager breeds in August-December. They are cooperative breeders, with several helpers, possibly young from previous clutches, participating in nest defence and feeding the chicks. The nest is a tightly woven cup of grass, leaves or twigs, lined with fine plant down. It is placed in a fork in a tree, 1-4 m above the ground. There the female lays 1-4 pale blue eggs with dark spots, which she incubates alone for 15-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and the helpers, fledging 11-13 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, the white-rumped tanager is described as fairly common but patchily distributed. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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