Monday, 9 September 2013

Cipo canastero

Asthenes luizae

Photo by Bruno Salaroli (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Cipo canastero (en); lenheiro-da-Serra-do-Cipó (pt); synallaxe du Cipo (fr); canastero de Cipó (es); Minas Gerais-canastero (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

This species is endemic to Minas Gerais, in south-eastern Brazil, being found between Belo Horizonte and Montes Claros, especially at the Serra do Cipó National park and along the Espinhaço mountain range.

These birds are 15-17 cm long and weigh 25-31 g.

The cipo canastero is found in isolated rocky outcrops, dry, high-altitude scrublands and grasslands, at altitudes of 1.000-2.000 m.

They feed on various invetebrates, which they glean from the ground,  rock crevices and scrubs.

Cipo canasteros are monogamous and breed in August-February. The nest is a spherical or conical structure made of sticks, mud, dry material and moss, which is placed on a scrub near the ground and has a small entrance hole located on the top, with a tunnel that leads to an incubation chamber covered in feathers and dry fibres. There the female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 23 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 20 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 1 month later.

IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a relatively small breeding range and a global population estimated at 50.000-10.000 individuals. This species was only discovered in 1985 and it was initially believed to have a very small and isolated population. However, later it was found to be relativelly widespread over its range. The population is suspected to be stable over most of its range, with localized declines owing to habitat degradation and some localised brood-parasitism by shiny cowbirds Molothrus bonariensis.

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