Thursday, 29 August 2013

Magpie tanager

Cissopsis leverianus

Photo by Octavio Salles (Flickr)

Common name:
magpie tanager (en); tietinga (pt); tangara pillurion (fr); tangara urraca (es); elstertangare (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

This species is found from Venezuela and southern Colombia down to Bolivia, Paraguay and south-eastern Brazil.

These birds are 29-20 cm long and weigh 65-80 g.

The magpie tanager is found in moist tropical forests and swamp forests, also occurring in degraded patches of former forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

They mainly feed on fruits, namely bananas and guavas, but also seeds and some insects.

Magpie tanagers nest in a cup made of grasses, leaves and other plant materials, placed low in a tree or in a dense scrub in the forest understory. The female lays 2-3 reddish-brown eggs with brown spots which are incubated for 12-13 days. There is no information regarding the fledgling period but each pair may raise 2 broods per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. based on current models of Amazonian deforestation, this species is likely to loose 15% of suitable habitat in the near future, but they are know to tolerate some level of habitat degradation.

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