Thursday, 9 May 2013

Common miner

Geositta cunicularia

Photo by Marcos Suárez (Aves del Golfo Ártabro)

Common name:
common miner (en); curriqueiro (pt); géositte mineuse (fr); minero común (es); Patagonienerdhacker (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

This species is found from southern Peru and Bolivia, through Chile and into Argentina, southern Brazil and Uruguay.

These birds are 14-17 cm long and weigh 20-34 g.

The common miner is found in open grasslands, including dry grasslands and high-altitude grasslands, in scrublands and sandy areas such as coastal dunes. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 5.000 m.

They mainly feed on various arthropods, including their eggs and larvae, but will also take some seeds.

Common miners breed in September-March, the exact season varying between different parts of their range. They nest in a deep burrow, up to 3 m long, excavated by both sexes in sandy bank, often in sloping ground. The nest-chamber is padded with grasses, flowers, rootlets, animal hairs and feathers. The female lays 2-3 white eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 18-20 days after hatching. Each pair raises 1-2 broods per season.

IUCN status -LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. This population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction, but the common miner is not considered threatened at present.

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