Saturday, 2 November 2013

Grey-hooded parrotbill

Paradoxornis zappeyi

Photo by Jeff Blincow (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
grey-hooded parrotbill  (en); bico-de-papagaio-de-capuz (pt); paradoxornis de Zappey (fr); picoloro encapuchado (es); grauhauben-papageimeise (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Paradoxornithidae

This species is endemic to China, only being found in the mountains of south-central Sichuan and western Guizhou.

These birds are 12-13 cm long and weigh 10 g.

The grey-hooded parrotbill is found in scrublands and open coniferous forests, on exposed peaks and ridges near mountain tops, usually at altitudes of 2.350-3.450. They can also use bamboo thickets.

They feed on insects, such as beetles, and seeds.

Grey-hooded parrotbills breed in April-July. The nest is build by both sexes, consisting of a bowl made of bamboo leaves, fibrous roots and moss, placed below the top of a bamboo leave, about 1 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-4 pale blue eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-14 days after hacthing.

IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and a global population estimated at just 2.500-10.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, owing to continuing habitat fragmentation and degradation through forest exploitation for timber and clearance for cultivation and pasture. Increased tourism within its range has also lead to habitat destruction and disturbance. The creation of protected areas for the giant panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca may preserve some areas of suitable habitat for the grey-hooded parrotbill.

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