Monday, 31 December 2012

Blue-faced honeyeater

Entomyzon cyanotis

(Photo from Whatafy)

Common name:
blue-faced honeyeater (en); melífago-de-faces-azuis (pt); méliphage à oreillons bleus (fr); mielero cariazul (es); blauohr-honigfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is found in northern and eastern mainland Australia, from the Kimberley region, Western Australia to near Adelaide, South Australia.

Size:
These birds are 25-32 cm long and have a wingspan of 44 cm. They weigh around 105 g.

Habitat:
The blue-faced honeyeater is found in open Eucalyptus woodlands, mangroves, dry savannas, scrublands and also in orchards, parks, golf courses and gardens.

Diet:
They feed on insects and other invertebrates, on the nectar of various native and exotic flowers and on various fruits.

Breeding:
Blue-faced honeyeaters can form breeding pairs or breed cooperatively with several helpers, typically immature birds, helping the dominant pair. They breed in July-January, most often nesting on abandoned nests of other species, or building a neat round cup made of bark, twigs and grass. The nest is placed on a tree 3-20 m above the ground. The female lays 2-3 creamy eggs with brown speckles, which are incubated for 16-17 days. The chicks are raised by both parents and the helpers and fledge about 20 days after hatching, but remain with the parents for several more weeks. Each pair raises several broods per season.

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

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Chat flycatcher

Bradornis infuscatus

Photo by Aleix Comas (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
chat flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-chasco (pt); gobemouche traquet (fr); papamoscas africano (es); drosselschnäpper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

Range:
This species is found in southern Africa, along the coast of southern Angola, in Namibia, Botswana and western South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 20 cm long and weigh 30-35 g.

Habitat:
The chat flycatcher is mostly found in dry savannas and dry karoo scrublands, and also in desert areas.

Diet:
They forage from a low perch, pouncing on prey on the ground, mainly taking insects such as termites, bugs, beetles, ants and grasshoppers. They also hunt small reptiles such as blind snakes.

Breeding:
Chat flycatchers breed all year round, but with a peak in September-March. The nest is a bulky, untidy bowl built of dry plant stems, twigs and coarse grass lined with finer material such as rootlets and plant down. They often use aromatic plants, such as cudweed Gnaphalium and everlastings Helichyrsum, probably because they repel insects. The nest is placed in a low scrub. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which she incubates alone for 14-15 days, while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed and brooded by both parents and fledge 11-14 days after hatching.

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

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Black-throated mango

Anthracothorax nigricollis

Photo by Fredrik Forsberg (Eldi Foto)

Common name:
black-throated mango (en); beija-flor-de-veste-preta (pt); mango à cravate noire (fr); mango gorginegro (es); schwarzbrust-mangokolibri (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This South American species is found from eastern Panama through Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, and into Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and north-eastern Argentina. It is mainly found east of the Andes, but also in coastal Ecuador. The black-throated mango is also found in Trinidad and Tobago.

Size:
These birds are 10-11 cm long and weigh 7 g.

Habitat:
The black-throated mango is mostly found in moist scrublands, second growths and cultivated land, but also rainforests and also within urban areas. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They feed on nectar and small flying insects.

Breeding:
Black-throated mangos can breed all year round. The nest is a tiny cup made of lichens and plant down, placed on top of a bare horizontal branch 8-15 m above the ground. The female lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 16-18 days. The chicks fledge 24-25 days after hatching but remain with the mother for another 3-4 weeks. Each female raised 2 broods per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. It is not considered threatened at present.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Common eider

Somateria mollissima

Photo by Andreas Trepte (Wikipedia)

Common name:
common eider (en); pato-eider (pt); eider à duvet (fr); eider común (es); eiderente (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae

Range:
The common eider is found along the coasts of the northern Atlantic, northern pacific and the Arctic Ocean. In the Atlantic the breeding range goes as far south as northern England and Ireland, and Maine in the United States. In the Pacific the breeding range goes as far as southern Alaska. The wintering range goes as far as the coasts of France, Virginia, northern British Columbia and southern Kamchatka, Russia.

Size:
These large ducks are 55-70 cm long and have a wingspan of 90-105 cm. They weigh 0,9-3 kg.

Habitat:
Common eiders nest in rocky shorelines and tundra, particularly in small offshore islands that are free of mammalian predators. They forage on a wide range of coastal habitats including rocky shores, coastal lagoons, fresh water lakes, sandflats and mudflats and can also be found out at sea.

Diet:
They feed by diving into the water, mainly eating marine invertebrates. Their diet includes molluscs such as mussels, clams, scallops, cockles and snails, crabs, sea urchins and starfishes. They sometimes also eat small fishes and fish eggs.

Breeding:
Common eiders are monogamous and form large breeding colonies that can have over 10.000 birds. They breed in June-August. The nest is a scrape in the ground lined with down that the female plucks for her own body, it is often hidden among tall grasses and always located near the sea. The female lays 4-5 light grey eggs, which she incubates alone for 25-28 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and start foraging on the sea under the protection of the female, they fledge 65-75 days after hatching. Common eiders reach sexual maturity at 2-3 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population is estimated at 3,1-3,8 million individuals. The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are increasing, stable, or have unknown trends. In North America the population has undergone a small increase over the last 4 decades.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Black-capped becard

Pachyramphus marginatus

Photo by Antonio Silveira (A Ultima Arca de Noé)

Common name:
black-capped becard (en); caneleiro-bordado (pt); bécarde à calotte noire (fr); anambé capirotado (es); streifenrückenbekarde (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This South American species is found from southern Venezuela and Colombia to Peru, northern Bolivia and central Brazil. There is also a disjunct population along the coast of south-eastern Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 13-15 cm long and weigh around 18 g.

Habitat:
The black-capped becard is found in lowland rainforests, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They forage in the upper and mid levels of the forest, eating fruits and insects. They often join mixed-species foraging groups, namely with other becards Pachyramphus sp. and antshrikes Thamnomanes sp.

Breeding:
Black-capped becards breed in September-March. The female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated for 18-21 days. The chicks fledge 20-22 days after hatching. Each pair raises a single brood per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The population is believed to be declining due to ongoing deforestation on the Amazon basin.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Red-vented bulbul

Pycnonotus cafer

Photo by J.M. Garg (Wikipedia)

Common name:
red-vented bulbul (en); tuta-de-ventre-vermelho (pt); bulbul à ventre rouge (fr); bulbul de ventrirrojo (es); rußbülbül (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Pycnonotidae

Range:
This species originates from the Indian sub-continent, being found throughout India and Sri Lanka, in eastern Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and marginally into southern China. This species has been introduced in several islands in the Pacific, such as Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga and Hawaii, also in New Zealand and in the Arabian Peninsula in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and The United Arab Emirates.

Size:
These birds are 20 cm long and weigh 26-45 g.

Habitat:
The red-vented bulbul is found in a wide range of habitats including tropical and subtropical dry forests and scrublands, rural gardens, plantations and urban areas.

Diet:
They mainly eat fruits, but also flowers, leaves and nectar of a wide range of plants, namely Solanaceae, Moraceae, Papilionaceae, Verbenaceae, Bombacaceae and Cucurbitaceae. They are also known to occasionally eat geckos.

Breeding:
Red-vented bulbuls can breed all year round, with a peak in January-October. the nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a small flat cup made of twigs, roots and grasses. It is placed in a fork in a tree, up to 4 m above the ground. The female lays 2-4 pink eggs with purple or reddish-brown blotches, which are incubated for 10-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 12 days after hatching. Each pair may raise up to 3 clutches per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the red-vented bulbul is described as generally common, being abundant in Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and rare in southern China. The population is estimated to be increasing following a recorded range expansion owing to the spread of irrigation. This species has also been introduced in several areas outside their native range, where they become a problem as an invasive species.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas frigatebird

Fregata andrewsi

Photo by Jeff Blincow (Christmas Island Wildlife)

Common name:
Christmas frigatebird (en); fragata-de-Natal (pt); frégate d'Andrews (fr); fragata de la Navidad (es); weißbauch-fregattvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Pelecaniformes
Family Fregatidae

Range:
The Christmas frigatebird is endemic as a breeding species to Christmas Island, located in the Indian Ocean, about 1000 km south-west of the Indonesian island of Java. Foraging birds spread along the seas around Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Size:
These birds are 90-100 cm long and have a wingspan of 205-230 cm. They weigh around 1,5 kg.

Habitat:
The Christmas frigatebird is a pelagic species, foraging in the open ocean. They only visit land to breed and roost, preferring tall forests near the shoreline, especially Terminalia catappa and Celtis timorensis.

Diet:
They mainly eat flying fish and squids, which they obtain either by scooping from the surface of the sea, or by harassing other seabirds, namely red-footed boobies Sula sula, and forcing them to disgorge some of their food. They also picking up carrion and offal from beaches, steal eggs and nestlings of other birds and eat grasshoppers.

Breeding:
Christmas frigatebirds form monogamous pairs that last a single breeding season. Egg laying takes place in February-June, but breeding process cover the whole year. They are colonial, with each pair building the nest on the top branches of a tree. There the female lays a single egg, which is incubated by both sexes for 40-54 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and grow very slowly, fledging after about 6 months but only becoming independent 7-9 months later. Due to the long period of parental care each bird only breeds once every 2 years. They reach sexual maturity at 5-7 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - CR (Critically Endangered)
This species has a very restricted breeding range and a global population estimated at just 2.400-4.800 individuals. The population declined by 66% over the last 3 generations, owing to habitat clearance and dust fallout from phosphate mining, marine pollution, over-fishing and by-catch in fishing gear. These declines are projected to continue in the future and the introduced yellow crazy ant Anoplolepis gracilipes may represents a serious future threat.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Collared sunbird

Anthreptes collaris

Photo by Sergi Aris (Flickr)

Common name:
collared sunbird (en); beija-flor-de-colar (pt); souimanga à collier (fr); suimanga acollarado (es); waldnektarvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Nectariniidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia and south to Angola, northern Botswana, and through Mozambique down to eastern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 9-10 cm long and weigh 7 g.

Habitat:
The collared sunbird is mostly found in mountain, coastal and lowland evergreen forests, in swamp forests, and also in thorny savannas, scrublands and gardens near forest edges. They can also be found in plantations and near fresh water wetlands.

Diet:
They mainly feed on the nectar of a wide range of plants, and also take some fruits and invertebrates such as termites, ant pupae, spiders and snails.

Breeding:
Collared sunbirds breed all year round. The female builds the nest alone, an untidy oval-shaped structure with a side entrance, made of dry grass, rootlets, twigs, tendrils and leaves bound together with spider webs. The nest is lined with plant fibres, horse hair, rootlets and feathers and is typically strung from the outer foliage of a sapling, scrub or creeper, often near a wasp nest. The female lays 1-4 eggs, which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The chicks are mainly fed by the female and fledge 13-17 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 3-4 weeks later.

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

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Maguari stork

Ciconia maguari

Photo by Aline Wolfer (Oiseaux d'Argentine)

Common name:
maguari stork (en); cegonha-maguari (pt); cigogne maguari (fr); cigueña maguari (es); maguaristorch (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Ciconiiformes
Family Ciconiidae

Range:
This species is found throughout most of South America east of the Andes, from Venezuela to central Argentina, but is mostly absent from the Amazon basin and from north-eastern Brazil.

Size:
The maguari stork is 90-105 cm long and has a wingspan of 150-180 cm. They weigh 3,5-4,5 kg.

Habitat:
They are mostly found in freshwater wetlands, such as swamps, flooded pastures, reedbeds and rice fields, but also in ponds within savannas, cultivated fields and grasslands.The maguari stork is present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

Diet:
These birds feed on a wide range of aquatic animals, including insects, frogs and tadpoles, fishes, crustaceans, lizards, snakes and aquatic rodents.

Breeding:
Maguari storks breed in May-November. They form loose colonies of 5-20 pairs, each nesting on a huge structure made of sticks and twigs and lined with grass. The nests can be placed on a small tree or scrub up to 6 m above the ground, on floating vegetation or on the ground within dense reedbeds, always in a place surrounded by water. The female lays 3-4 dull white eggs, which are incubated for 29-32 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 60-72 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 5-6 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and in spite of declines in some parts of the range in recent years, the population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Subdesert mesite

Monias benschi

Photo by John C. Mittermeier (Flickr)

Common name:
subdesert mesite (en); mesita-de-Bensch (pt); mésite monias (fr); mesito monias (es); moniasstelzenralle (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Gruiformes
Family Mesitornithidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Madagascar, being found along a narrow coastal strip in the south-western part of the country between the Fiherenana and Mangoky rivers.

Size:
These birds are 30-32 cm long and weigh 110-170 g.

Habitat:
The subdesert mesite is found in dry tropical forests, with sandy soils and minimal herbaceous cover. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 130 m.

Diet:
They use their long curved bills to search for food among the forest litter, taking various invertebrates such as cockroaches, grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles and millipedes. They also eat seeds and small fruits.

Breeding:
Subdesert mesites breed in August-January. They leave in groups of up to 9 birds, including several females and males who cooperate in nest building, incubation and feeding the young. Each group may build several nests, each consisting of a loosely woven platform of twigs adorned with lichens. In each nest they lay 1-2 whitish eggs with brown and grey speckles, which are incubated by both sexes for 21-27 days. The chicks leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching but are defended and fed by the adults for several weeks.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a small breeding range and the global population is estimated at 98.000-152.000 individuals. The population is declining at a moderate rate of 20% over the last three generations, mostly due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation through forests clearance for slash-and-burn cultivation of maize and for charcoal production, and more locally for logging. Predation by dogs and trappers occurs, and introduced rats Rattus may also pose a threat to the subdesert mesite in some areas.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Black-headed oriole

Oriolus larvatus

Photo by Gerda van Schalkwyk (Flickr)

Common name:
black-headed oriole (en); papa-figos-de-cabeça-preta (pt); loriot masqué (fr); oropéndola enmascarada (es); maskenpirol (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Oriolidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, specially in East Africa, from Ethiopia down to South Africa, and also into Angola and northern Namibia in West Africa.

Size:
These birds are 23-27 cm long and weigh 60-70 g.

Habitat:
This species is found in most woodland and forest habitats within its range, especially dry forests and savannas. They are also found in mangroves, scrublands, along rivers and streams, pastures, plantations, arable land and also within urban areas.

Diet:
The black-headed oriole feeds on insects, fruits, berries, seeds and nectar. They are known to take bees, caterpillars, dragonflies, damselflies and termite alates, figs, olives, bone-apples, the seeds of Brachychiton and the nectar of Aloe, Greyvillea and Erythrina latissima.

Breeding:
These birds breed in September-February. The nest is a deep cup made of lichen, moss, tendrils and grass woven together, placed between the stems of a fork in a horizontal branchof a tree, 6-9 m above ground. The female lays 2-3 pinkish eggs with brown and grey spots, which are incubated for 14-16 days. The chicks fledge 14-18 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This black-headed oriole has a very large breeding range and is common to fairly common, although scarce in south-east Ethiopia. This population is suspected to be expanding its range with urban development, as they readily adapt to urban environments.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Razorbill

Alca torda

Photo by Paul Wordingham (Wikipedia)

Common name:
razorbill (en); torda-mergulheira (pt); petit pingouin (fr); alca común (es); tordalk (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Falimy Alcidae

Range:
This species breeds along the shores of the northern Atlantic, both in North America and Europe. On the European side they breed from north-western Russia to northern France and winter from the Baltic and North Sea down to the western Mediterranean and the coast of Morocco. They also breed in Iceland, southern and western Greenland up to Baffin Bay and along the coast of Canada down to Maine in the north-western United States and winter down to the coast of Connecticut.

Size:
These birds are 38-43 cm long and have a wingspan of 60-70 cm. They weigh 500-890 g.

Habitat:
They breed on rocky coastal areas, both on mainland cliffs and offshore islands, feeding mostly on continental shelf waters, but also on oceanic waters during winter.

Diet:
They forage by diving into the sea, up to a depth of 120 m. They mainly feed on schooling fish, such as capelin Mallotus villosus, sand lance Ammodytes sp., juvenile cod Gadus morhua, sprat Sprattus sprattus, herring Clupea harengus, sculpins Myxocephalus and small euphausiids. They also take crustaceans and polychaetes.

Breeding:
Razorbills breed in May-July. They form large colonies with each pair nesting on a rock crevice or among boulders, laying the egg on bare rock. The female lays a single ground colour egg with dark brown blotches, which is incubated by both parents for 35-36 days. The chick is fed small fishes by both parents and the male will lead him out to sea after 17-23 days.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 1-1,4 million individuals. After large declines early in the 20th century, caused by hunting and egg collection, the population stabilized and even showed some increases in recent years in North America and the British isles. However, commercial fishing causes death of birds that become tangled in nets and reduces food availability for this species, while oil pollution is another potential threat to the razorbill.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Rufous-backed bunting

Emberiza jankowskii

(Photo from Serinus Africanos)

Common name:
rufous-backed bunting (en); escrevedeira-de-dorso-ruivo (pt); bruant de Jankowski (fr); escribano de Jankowski (es); Jankowskiammer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This species is found in north-eastern China, in the provinces of Heilongjiand and Julin, in extreme north-eastern North Korea and marginally across the border into Russia.

Size:
These birds are 16 cm long.

Habitat:
The rufous-backed bunting is mostly found in temperate grasslands with scattered scrubs and small trees, and to a lesser extent in scrublands.

Diet:
They feed on the ground, eating the seeds of native grasses and scrubs.

Breeding:
Rufous-backed buntings breed in April-July. The nest is placed on the ground, near the base of a small tree or scrub. It is made of leaves and grasses and lined with hair. The female lays 4-7 greyish white eggs with purplish markings, which she incubates alone for 11-14 days. The chicks fledge 10-13 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a relatively large breeding range, but the global population is estimated at just 250-1.000 individuals. Although accurate population surveys are lacking, there are reports of extremely rapid declines in many locations where the species was formerly abundant, suggesting a very rapid population decline of 50-80% in recent years. The main cause for this decline is habitats loss through the conversion of natural habitats for agriculture and pasture and possibly also forestry. Disturbance by humans and grazing cattle also cause low reproductive success. Fires and predation by snakes, rats and Amur falcons Falco amurensis may also have a negative impact on this endangered species.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Raggiana bird-of-paradise

Paradisaea raggiana

Photo by Bruce Beehler (Australian Geographic)

Common name:

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Paradisaeidae

Range:
This species indemic to island of New Guinea, being found in eastern and southern Papua-New guinea and marginally across the border into Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are 28-34 cm long but the males reach 70 cm if the tail plumes are included. The males weigh 310-340 g while the smaller females weigh 170-200 g.

Habitat:
The Raggiana bird-of-paradise is mostly found in lowland rainforests, but also in some mountain rainforests, second growths and sometimes in rural gardens.

Diet:
They are mainly frugivorous, eating the fruits whole and thus being an important seed disperser for fruiting tree in New Guinea. They also eat some insects and other arthropods.

Breeding:
Raggiana birds-of-paradise breed in September-November. They are polygynous, with the males congregating in leks where they perform an elaborate courtship dance to attract the females who choose their favourite dancer. After mating, the female builds a cup-shaped nest composed of leaves and leaf pieces, stems, ferns and other plant fibres, and lined with hairs. The nest is placed in a fork of a tree, 2-11 m above the ground. There she lays 1-2 pinkish buff eggs, which she incubates alone for 18-20 days. The chicks are raised by the female alone and fledge about 3 weeks after hatching, but continue to receive food from their mother for over 1 month.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be common. Even though the plumes of this species are heavily cropped by natives for ceremonial headdresses, the practice is not a threat to their long-term survival and the population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Monday, 17 December 2012

White-eared puffbird

Nystalus chacuru

Photo by Mario Martins (Flickr)

Common name:
white-eared puffbird (en); joão-bobo (pt); tamatia chacuru (fr); chacurú cara negra (es); weißohr-faulvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galbuliformes
Family Bucconidae

Range:
This South American species is found is central and southern Brazil, in Bolivia, in eastern Paraguay and marginally into northern Argentina.

Size:
They are 18-20 cm long and weigh 60-65 g.

Habitat:
The white-eared puffbird is mostly found in dry forests and woodlands, namely in cerrado habitats, but also in moist forests, dry scrublands, plantations, pastures, arable land and even within urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

Diet:
These birds hunt insects and other arthropods, namely beetles, spiders, millipedes, centipedes and scorpions, and also small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs and small mammals.

Breeding:
White-eared puffbirds nest in a deep hole excavated by both sexes into a natural sand wall or road bank, or sometimes on levelled ground. There the female lays 2-4 glossy white eggs, which are incubated for about 15 days. There is no information regarding the length of the fledging period.

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

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Inca dove

Columbina inca

(Photo from Free Pet Wallpapers)

Common name:
Inca dove (en); rolinha-inca (pt); colombe inca (fr); tortolita mexicana (es); Incatäubchen (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is found from the southern United States, in south-eastern California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, across Mexico and south to Costa Rica.

Size:
These birds are 18-23 cm long and weigh 30-60 g.

Habitat:
The Inca dove is mostly found in urban and rural areas and other human-modified habitats, but also in arid and semi-arid scrublands and woodlands and in moist tropical scrublands, from sea level up to an altitude of 3.000 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, mainly eating seeds of grasses and weeds, agricultural grains and nuts, but also some fruits, especially from cacti.

Breeding:
Inca doves can breed all year round, nesting in a frail structure made of small twigs by the female. the hest is usually placed low in a tree or scrub. The female lays 2 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents fro 13-15 days. The chicks are fed crop milk by both parents and fledge 12-16 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and this range is in fact expanding due to coexistance with humans. The population is estimated to be increasing at a rapid rate of over 30% per decade, but this information is based on surveys performed in less than half of the species global range.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Capuchinbird

Perissocephalus tricolor

(Photo from Zoo Chat)

Common name:
capuchinbird (en); maú (pt); coracine chauve (fr); pájaro capuchino (es); kapuzinerkotinga (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Cotingidae

Range:
This species is found in northern Brazil, north of the Amazon river, in the Guyanas, in south-eastern Venezuela and marginally across the border into Colombia.

Size:
These birds are 34,5-36 cm long. Males weigh 320-395 while the smaller females weigh 265-365 g.

Habitat:
The capuchinbird is found in the canopies of rainforests, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.400 m. Notably, in Venezuela they are found in forested slopes of tepuis.

Diet:
These birds are mainly frugivorous, eating the fruits of a number of plant species, especially
Lauraceae, Burseraceae, and Arecaceae. They also take large athropods such as grasshoppers, phasmids, caterpillars and spiders. They are known to occasionally hunt bats.


Breeding:
Capuchinbirds are polygynous. The males form a lek, where they perform a series of displays to attract females. After mating the male has no further part in the breeding process. The nest is a small cup made of twigs, placed in a fork near the end of a branch, on the forests understory 4-6 m above the ground. There she lays a single pale ground khaki colour egg with sepia and light brown blotches, which she incubates alone for 26-27 days. The chick is fed by the female alone and fledges about 27 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as uncommon. The population trend is believed to be stable but the capuchinbird is affected by logging and models of Amazon deforestation suggest they will loose 8% of suitable habitat in the near future.