Thursday, 28 February 2013

Ground woodpecker

Geocolaptes olivaceus

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
ground woodpecker (en); pica-pau-das-rochas (pt); pic laboureur (fr); pico de la tierra (es); erdspecht (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

Range:
This species is endemic to South Africa, being found in most of the southern, eastern and western parts of the country, as well as in Lesotho and Swaziland.

Size:
These birds are 22-30 cm long and weigh 105-135 g.

Habitat:
The ground woodpecker is found in rock and boulder strewn mountain slopes, usually in treeless grasslands and scrublands, but also near swamps and marshes. they are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.100 m.

Diet:
They are highly specialized on ants, digging up subsurface ant nests and licking them up with its sticky tongue. They take adult ants as well as larvae, pupae and eggs, of Camponotus, Anoplolepis, Acantolepis, Crematogaster, Tetramorium, Pheidole, Meranoplus and Solenopsis. Sometimes they also eat beetles and termites.

Breeding:
Ground woodpeckers breed in July-December, with a peak in August-September. They breed in pairs or trios, with both sexes excavate the nest, a long tunnel with an chamber at the end which is usually dug into earthen banks, such as riverbanks and gullies, or in crumbling walls of abandoned buildings or termite mounds. There the female lays 2-5 eggs which are incubated by both parents and possibly also helpers. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledging periods, but the chicks are fed by both parents and helpers and remain with the parents until the onset of the following breeding season.

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

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Palm warbler

Dendroica palmarum

Photo by Guy Poisson (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
palm warbler (en); mariquita-das-palmeiras (pt); paruline à couronne rousse (fr); reinita palmera (es); palm-waldsänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Parulidae

Range:
This species breeds in northern North America, from northern Canada to the northern United States in Minnesota, Wyoming, Michigan and Maine. They migrate south to winter along the pacific and Atlantic coasts of the United States, along the Gulf coast into Texas and also in the Caribbean as far south as Puerto Rico and along the Atlantic coast of Central America from southern Mexico to Panama.

Size:
These birds are 12,5-14,5 cm long and weigh 9-11 g.

Habitat:
The palm warbler breeds in open bogs bordered by coniferous forests, mainly spruces and tamaracks. They prefer bogs covered by Sphagnum mosses, sedges and other aquatic plants. Outside the breeding season they are found in a variety of habitats including grasslands, scrublands, swamps and marshes, savannas, mangroves, pastures, rural gardens and urban areas.

Diet:
They mainly forage on the ground, but in the foliage and take insects in flight. Their main prey include grasshoppers, beetles, flies, bugs, butterflies, moths, wasps, bees and ant larvae. Outside the breeding season they also eat berries, seeds and nectar.

Breeding:
Palm warblers are monogamous and breed in May-July. The nest is a cup made of weed stalks, grasses, sedges, bark shreds, rootlets and ferns, placed on moss-covered ground, usually at the base of a small tree near the margins of a bog. There the female lays 4-5 creamy-white eggs with brown markings, which are incubated by both parents for 12 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 12 days after hatching. Typically they raise a single clutch per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 23 million individuals. The population has undergone a large increase of 45% per decade over the last 4 decades.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Streaked flycatcher

Myiodynastes maculatus

Photo by Dario Sanches (Wikipedia)

Common name:
streaked flycatcher (en); bem-te-vi-rajado (pt); tyran audacieux (fr); bienteveo rayado (es); südlicher fleckenmaskentyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Mexico down to central Argentina, only east of the Andes.

Size:
These birds are 20,5-23 cm long and weigh 37-50 g.

Habitat:
The streaked flycatcher is found in moist evergreen and semi-deciduous forests, swamp forests, mangroves, savannas and second growths, from sea level up to an altitude of 3.000 m.

Diet:
They are mainly insectivorous, taking grasshoppers, bugs, caterpillars, beetles, cicadas, wasps, flying ants, but also eat small lizards, berries and fruits.

Breeding:
Streaked flycatchers breed in March-January. The nest is a rounded structure made of dry leaves and flowers, grasses and twigs, which can be placed in natural tree hollows, old woodpecker cavities, at the base of leaf stems of palms, in masses of bromeliads growing on tree trunks or under the eaves of roofs of houses. There the female lays 2-3 white or creamy-white eggs with reddish-brown or lilac spots. The female incubates the eggs alone for 15-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 18-21 days after hatching, only becoming fully independent 1-2 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 5-50 million individuals. This species tolerates some forest degradation and its population is suspected to be stable.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Black-winged lory

Eos cyanogenia

(Photo from Free Pet Wallpapers)

Common name:
black-winged lory (en); lóri-de-asa-preta (pt); lori à joues bleues (fr); lori alinegro (es); schwarzschulterlori (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the Indonesian islands of Geelvink, off the northern coast of Papua.

Size:
These birds are 29-31 cm long and weigh around 120 g.

Habitat:
The black-winged lory is mostly found in inland and coastal moist tropical forests, but also in coconut plantations.

Diet:
They feed on nectar and fruits, namely mistletoe berries and the nectar from Brugiera gymnorhiza.

Breeding:
Black-winged lories nest in holes in trees, where the female lays 2 white eggs. The eggs are mainly incubated by the female for 25-28 days. The chicks are raised by both parents and fledge 11-12 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a restricted breeding range and a global population estimated at 2.500-10.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, mainly due to deforestation driven by logging and subsistence agriculture, as well as intensive trapping for the the international pet trade.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Black-capped donacobius

Donacobius atricapilla

Photo by Ralf Lukovic (Trek Nature)

Common name:
black-capped donacobius (en); japacanim (pt); donacobe à miroir (fr); angú (es); rohrspotter (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Troglodytidae

Range:
This species is found in northern South America, from Venezuela south to Bolivia, southern Brazil and north-eastern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 23 cm long and weigh 24-30 g.

Habitat:
The black-capped donacobius is mostly found in inland wetlands, such as freshwater marshes, bogs, swamps, rivers, streams and oxbow lakes with tall dense aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation, as well as in moist scrublands. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 600 m.

Diet:
They feed on insects.

Breeding:
Black-capped donacobius are territorial and can breed cooperatively with the offspring from previous years helping the adults tend the eggs and chicks. The nest is a cup made of dry grasses and reeds, interwoven with spider webs and attached to tall grasses or reeds, usually near water. There the female lays 2-3 pale rust-coloured eggs, which are incubated for 16-18 days. The chicks fledge 16-18 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Northern gannet

Morus bassanus

Photo by Andreas Trepte (Wikipedia)

Common name:
northern gannet (en); ganso-patola (pt); fou de Bassan (fr); alcatraz común (es); basstölpel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Pelecaniformes
Family Sulidae

Range:
The northern gannet is found in the northern Atlantic, from Greenland south along the coasts of Europe, north-western Africa and North America down to Cuba and Senegal.

Size:
These birds are 80-110 cm long and have a wingspan of 165-190 cm. They weigh 2,2-3,6 kg.

Habitat:
The northern gannet is found in coastal and marine waters, never very far from the coast. They breed in steep cliffs or uninhabited offshore islands.

Diet:
They feed on pelagic shoaling fish, which they catch by plunge-diving from considerable heights. They often feed in association with predatory fish and cetaceans, such bluefish and dolphins. Their main prey are mackerel and herring, but also capelin, coalfish, cod, whiting, haddock, sprat, pilchard, garfish, sandlance, sandeel, smelt, menhaden and flounder, typically smaller than 30 cm. They can also eat some squids and shrimps.

Breeding:
Northern gannets breed in March-September. They are monogamous and pair for life. The nest is a mound of seaweed, feathers and plant materials, placed in a rocky cliff or island always near the ocean. The female lays a single pale blue-green chalky egg, which is incubated by both parents for 42-46 days. The chicks fledge 3 months after hatching. Each pair raises a single chick per season, which will reach sexual maturity after 3 years.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 950.000-1.200.000 individuals. Although they suffer some mortality from entanglement in nets and other fishing gear, the population in North America in known to be increasing at a rate of 3-3,5% per year, while the population is Europe seems to be stable.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Eurasian penduline-tit

Remiz pendulinus

Photo by Armando Caldas (Flickr)

Common name:
Eurasian penduline-tit (en); chapim-de-faces-pretas (pt); rémiz penduline (fr); pájaro moscón europeo (es); beutelmeise (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Remizidae

Range:
The Eurasian penduline-tit breeds in Europe and western Asia, from the Iberian Peninsula north to southern Sweden and east to Turkey, Kazakhstan and southern Russia. The more northern populations migrate south to winter in southern Europe, Morocco, northern Egypt and the Middle East.

Size:
These birds are 10-12 cm long and have a wingspan of 16-18 cm. They weigh 10 g.

Habitat:
Eurasian penduline-tits occur in a variety of wetland habitats, including estuaries, lakes, rivers, canals, streams, or swamps, fresh or brackish water marshes and coastal lagoons where they can find luxuriant aquatic vegetation, especially reeds mixed with tall herbage, tamarisk, willow, and poplar. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 650 m.

Diet:
They mainly feed on insect larvae and spiders, but also some seeds, especially during winter.

Breeding:
These birds breed in April-July. The nest is a large, free-hanging domed pouch-like structure with a short downward-projecting entrance tube near the top. It is made of plant fibres, especially hop, nettle, and grass, woven and compacted tightly to felt-like consistency with plant down, and animal hair, particularly sheep wool. The nest is lined with plant down, and more rarely feathers, and placed hanging from the outermost twigs of a small tree, often over water. There the female lays 5-9 white eggs with reddish spots, which are either incubated by the male or female, but never by both, for 13-14 days. The chicks are raised by the parent who incubated the eggs and fledge 18-24 days after hatching. They can raise 2 broods per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the population in Europe is estimated at 630.000-1.260.000 individuals, while representing just 25-50% of the global range. The population is estimated to be increasing following substantial recorded range expansions and only minor range contractions.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Puna tinamou

Tinamotis pentlandii

Photo by Rodrigo Moraga (World Bird Info)

Common name:
puna tinamou (en); tinamú-da-puna (pt); tinamou quioula (fr); perdiz de la puna (es); punasteißhuhn (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Tinamiformes
Family Tinamidae

Range:
This species is found in high altitude areas of the Andes, from southern Peru and western Bolivia to northern Chile and north-western Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 39-45 cm long and weigh around 900 g.

Habitat:
The puna tinamou is found in high-altitude grasslands and sometimes also in scrublands, at altitudes of 3.500-5.300 m.

Diet:
They feed on buds, leaves, shoots, flowers and grasses.

Breeding:
Puna tinamous do not construct a nest or scrape, simply laying their eggs on the ground under the shelter of some vegetation. The female lays 4-8 green eggs with yellowish spots. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledging periods, but after hatching the chicks gather in groups composed of young from several broods which are attended by several males.

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

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Striped honeyeater

Plectorhyncha lanceolata

Photo by David Cook (Flickr)

Common name:
striped honeyeater (en); melífado-lanceolado (pt); méliphage lancéolé (fr); mielero lanceolado (es); strichelhonigfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia, being found in eastern Australia, from mid-northern Queensland to northern Victoria and west to the York Peninsula, especially inland from the Great Dividing Range.

Size:
These birds are 20-25 cm longand have a wingspan of 28-36 cm. They weigh around 40 g.

Habitat:
The striped honeyeater is mostly found in dry forests and savannas, namely Casuarina, Eucalyptus, Acacia and native pines, and especially along rivers and streams. They are also found in swamp forests and mangroves, dry scrublands, hot deserts, rural gardens and even within urban areas.

Diet:
They mainly feed on insects and spiders, also taking fruits and berries, seeds, nectar and other plant sugars.

Breeding:
Striped honeyeaters breed in July-January. The nest is a suspended cup made of grasses and plant fibres and lined with fine grasses and feather, including emu feathers. It is placed at the lower end of big mistletoes or drooping branches of trees, 1-6 m above the ground. There the female lays 2-5 cream-coloured eggs with light-brown speckles, which are incubated by both sexes for 14-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents, and sometimes also by helpers, fledging 15-17 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range but is described as rather uncommon. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats, so it is not considered threatened at present.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Yellow-footed green-pigeon

Treron phoenicoptera

Photo by Nabarun Sadhya (Flickr)

Common name:
yellow-footed green-pigeon (en); pombo-verde-de-patas-amarelas (pt); colombar commandeur (fr); vinago patigualdo (es); rotschultertaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
These birds occurs from eastern Pakistan, throughout India and Bangladesh, and into Nepal and Bhutan, southern China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Size:
They are 33-35 cm long.

Habitat:
This species is found in moist tropical forests, but also in degraded former forests, dry scrublands, rural gardens and within urban areas.

Diet:
Yellow-legged green-pigeons feed on a wide variety of fruits, including several Ficus, but also seeds, buds and shoots. They are known to eat maize, taking the grain directly from the stalks.

Breeding:
These birds breed in March-July. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a thin platform of small twigs criss-crossed over each other. It is placed on an horizontal branch, usually not very far from the ground in a small tree or sapling but sometimes up to 15 m above the ground. The female lays 1-2 shiny white eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for 20-24 days. The chicks fledge 10-13 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common and widespread.
The population is suspected to be increasing as ongoing habitat degradation is creating new areas of suitable habitat.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Puff-throated babbler

Pellorneum ruficeps

Photo by P. Supat (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
puff-throated babbler (en); zaragateiro-de-peito-estriado (pt); akalat à poitrine tachetée (fr); tordina pechiestriada (es); streifenbrust-erdtimalie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

Range:
This species is found in southern Asia, in southern India, in northern India, Nepal and Bhutan, and Myanmar and southern China into Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.

Size:
These birds are 15 cm long.

Habitat:
The puff-throated babbler is found in scrublands, bamboo thickets, tropical moist forests and plantations.

Diet:
They mainly forage on the undergrowth and the forest floor, taking various insects and other invertebrates.

Breeding:
Puff-throated babblers breed in March-August, mainly during the local rainy season. The nest is a dome of leaves and twigs with an entrance on the side, usually placed at the base of a scrub with the entrance pointing downwards when in sloppy ground. There the female lays 2-5 pale greenish or yellowish eggs with reddish brown and grey speckles or spots. There is no information regarding the length of the incubation period, but the chicks fledge 12-13 days after hatching.

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

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Western slaty-antshrike

Thamnophilus atrinucha

Photo by Tobias Gerlach (Deep Green Photo)

Common name:
western slaty-antshrike (en); choca-de-nuca-negra (pt); batara à nuque noire (fr); batará pizarroso occidental (es); westlicher tropfenameisenwürger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

Range:
This species is found from Guatemala to north-western Venezuela, western Colombia and western Ecuador.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 22-24 g.

Habitat:
The western slaty-antshrike is found in primary and secondary tropical moist and evergreen forests as well as forest edges. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They forage on the understory, often joining antwren flocks, and sometimes follow army ant swarms when these enter their territory. They mainly feed on arthropods, such as scorpions, spiders, millipedes, roaches, stick insects, mantids, crickets, katydids, grasshoppers, cicadas, bugs and moths. They are also known to prey on Anolis lizards.

Breeding:
These birds can breed all year round, but especially in December-September. They are socially monogamous and the nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a thin cup made of plant fibres, rhizomorphs, rootlets, spider webs and moss. It is tied to two or three small twigs of a horizontal fork, up to 7 m above the ground. There the female lays 1-2 white eggs with reddish-brown spots, which are incubated by both sexes for about 16 days. The chicks fledge 10 days after hatching. Each pair can raise 1-2 broods per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The western slaty-antshrike has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common to common throughout much of this range. This species is able to thrive in some edge and secondary habitats, thus the population is suspected to be at least stable.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Ruffed grouse

Bonasa umbellus

Photo by Guy Monty (Flickr)

Common name:
ruffed grouse (en); galinha-montesa-de-colar (pt); gélinotte huppée (fr); grévol engolado (es); kragenhuhn (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

Range:
This species is found throughout most of Canada, and also in Alaska and the northern United States as far south as Georgia, Utah and northern California.

Size:
These birds are 40-50 cm long and have a wingspan of 50-64 cm. They weigh 450-750 g.

Habitat:
The ruffed grouse is found in temperate, boreal and mountain forests, typically in quiet areas with dense cover, preferring mixed deciduous forests rich in aspen, poplar and birch. They also occur in thick scrublands and sheltered swamps.

Diet:
They are omnivorous, with a varied diet including leaves, buds, seeds, berries and fruits, as well as insects and other invertebrates. In winter, they mainly eat buds, particularly aspen catkin buds which are rich in sugar and protein. Poplar and birch buds are also frequently eaten. In the spring, the ruffed grouse feeds on new leaves and shoots of a variety of plants, including trees, scrubs and dandelions. Ripening fruits and berries, such blackberries and blueberries, form the basis of their diet in the summer and the chicks feed on small insects and spiders.

Breeding:
The ruffed grouse breeds in April-July. The males performs a noisy courtship display involving drumming and rapid wing flapping. They can mate with several females during the breeding season and have no further part in the breeding process. The nest is a hollow scrape in the ground, lined with dry leaves, pine needles and some feathers, usually located at the base of a tree or near a fallen log in an area which is well camouflaged by low vegetation. There the female lays 9-12 buff-coloured eggs with a few reddish speckles, which she incubates alone for 23-26 days. The chicks leave the nest within 24 hours of hatching and are immediately able to feed themselves. They fledge about 12 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 8 million individuals. This species is a popular game bird in most of its range but the current levels of hunting are not believed to have an impact on the population. The ruffed grouse has undergone a small decrease over the last decades, mainly due to habitat loss and fragmentation through rural and suburban development.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Fan-tailed raven

Corvus rhipidurus

Photo by René Larsen (Flickr)

Common name:
fan-tailed raven (en); corvo-de-cauda-curta (pt); corbeau à queue courte (fr); cuervo colicorto (es); borstenrabe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae

Range:
This species is found in the Middle East and north-eastern Africa, from Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.

Size:
These birds are 47 cm long and have a wingspan of 102-120 cm. They weigh 340-610 g.

Habitat:
The fan-tailed raven is found arid and semi-arid regions, especially near cliffs or crags suitable for nesting and in dry savannas and scrublands, grasslands, near freshwater springs and oasis, and also in pastures, arable land, rural gardens and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 4.000 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, taking insects and other invertebrates, but also human waste from garbage dumps, carrion, grain taken from animal dung and various fruits. They are also known to take skin parasites from camels.

Breeding:
Fan-tailed ravens breed in February-July. They nest is a loose platform or cup, made of sticks, twigs and roots, and lined with wool, hair, cloth, freshly plucked twigs and other soft material. It is placed on a crevice, or sheltered ledge, usually in an inaccessible cliff, or more rarely on human buildings. There are also some rare cases where they nested on trees. The female lays 2-4 pale greenish-blue eggs with brown blotches and speckles, which are incubated for 18-20 days. There is no information regarding the fledgling period.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as locally common over most of its range and locally abundant in western Arabia and Ethiopia. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to inter-specific competition in some parts of its range

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Fiery-necked nightjar

Caprimulgus pectoralis

Photo by Dave Maguire (Wikipedia)

Common name:
fiery-necked nightjar (en); noitibó-de-pescoço-dourado (pt); engoulevent musicien (fr); chotacabras músico (es); pfeifnachtschwalbe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Caprimulgiformes
Family Caprimulgidae

Range:
This African species is found from southern Kenya and Tanzania, though southern D.R. Congo and Angola, and into northern Namibia, Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana and eastern South Africa down to the cape.

Size:
These birds are 22-24 cm long and weigh 35-70 g.

Habitat:
The fiery-necked nightjar is mostly found in dry savannas and woodlands with dense leaf litter for nesting and roosting, but also in dry scrublands, grasslands, plantations and rural gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They are insectivorous and hunt from dusk to dawn, mainly eating beetles and moths, but also cockroaches, termites, lacewings, grasshoppers, bees, wasps, ants, flies, bugs and scale-insects.

Breeding:
Fiery-necked nightjars are monogamous and mate for life. The nest is a simple depression in the ground, usually in and surrounded by dense leaf litter, where the female lays 2 eggs. The eggs are incubated by both sexes for about 18-19 days, with the female incubating during the day while the male takes the night shift. The chicks are cared for by both parents. They start walking around the nest about 8 days after hatching, only being able to fly 3 weeks later. The parents usually desert their territory and chicks when they reach 30 days of age, but the brood only leaves the territory approximately 5 months later.

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

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Blackish cinclodes

Cinclodes antarcticus

Photo by Laurent Demongin (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
blackish cinclodes (en); pedreiro-negro (pt); cinclode fuligineux (fr); remolinera negra (es); rußbrauner-uferwipper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

Range:
This species is found in the southern tip of South America, in Tierra del Fuego and the Falkland islands.

Size:
These birds are 18-23 cm long and weigh 55-70 g.

Habitat:
The blackish cinclodes is mostly found in rocky shorelines, tidal pools, rocky cliffs and offshore islands and also in snady beaches and among grass tussocks. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 100 m.

Diet:
They feed on small insects and small marine invertebrates found among rotting kelp, but also take regurgitated fish from sea bird colonies, carrion and human garbage.

Breeding:
Blackish cinclodes breed in September-January. The cup-shaped nest is made of grass, lined with feathers and placed under rocks, grass clumps, buildings, in a hole in the ground or in an abandoned petrel burrow. There the female lays 1-3 eggs which are incubated for about 2 weeks. The chicks fledge about 2 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a restricted breeding range, but it is described as fairly common. The population in the Falkland islands is estimated at 20.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to predation by invasive species, especially cats and rats, but the blackish cinclodes seems to thrive on rat-free islands.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Black-throated sparrow

Amphispiza bilineata

Photo by Steve Berardi (Wikipedia)

Common name:
black-throated sparrow (en); escrevedeira-de-faces-listadas (pt); bruant à gorge noire (fr); chiero gorjinegro (es); schwarzkehlammer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This North American species is found in the western United States, from Washington down to California, New Mexico and south-western Texas, and also in northern and central Mexico. The more northern population migrate south to winter along the southern parts of the range.

Size:
These birds are 12-14 cm long and weigh 11-15 g.

Habitat:
The black-throated sparrow is found in hot deserts with sparse vegetation and dry scrublands, from sea level up to an altitude of 2.200 m.

Diet:
These birds are omnivorous, mainly taking seeds during the winter months and insects during the breeding season. They eat the seeds from various scrubs, grasses and herbs, and insects such as grasshoppers, crickets ans cockraches.

Breeding:
Black-throated sparrows breed in April-August. The nest is a loosely built cup made of grasses and stems, and lined with plant fibres, animal hairs and feathers. It is placed on a scrub or cacti, typically less than 1 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-4 white or pale blue eggs, which are incubated for about 12 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 10 days after hatching, but continue to receive food for another 1-2 weeks. Each pair raises 2 broods per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 27 million individuals. The population has undergone a large decline of 22% per decade over the last 4 decades.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Sanderling

Calidris alba


(Photo from Wikipedia)

Common name:
sanderling (en); pilrito-das-praias (pt); bécasseau sanderling (fr); correlimos tridáctilo (es); sanderling (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Scolopacidae

Range:
The sanderling breeds in the Arctic region, in northern Russia, northern Alaska, northern Canada and Greenland, migrating south to winter along the coastlines of all continents except Antarctica.

Size:
These birds are 18-22 cm long and have a wingspan of 35-45 cm. They weigh 40-100 g.

Habitat:
Sanderlings breed in the tundra, both in barren stony areas and in areas of sparse vegetation such as willows, sedges, heathers and saxifrage. Outside the breeding season they are mostly found in sandy beaches, but also in rocky intertidal areas, mudflats and lagoons.

Diet:
During the breeding season they mainly eat insects, such as craneflies, midges and mosquitoes, and also some spiders, crustaceans and even plant materials. Outside the breeding season they feed on  small crustaceans, bivalves, polychaete worms and some insects.

Breeding:
Sanderlings breed in June-August. The mating system is very flexible, varying from monogamy to serial polygyny, polyandry and polygynandry. The nest is a scrape on the ground in an open area, sometimes lined with leaves and lichens. There the female lays 4 greenish eggs with brown spots, which are incubated for 23-32 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and are lead by one of the parents for a few weeks. They fledge 12-14 days after hatching and become independent 1 week later. Females may lay a second clutch while the male takes care of the chicks from her first clutch. Sanderlings reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 620.000-700.000 individuals. The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are increasing, stable or have unknown trends.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Sedge warbler

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Photo by Rinus Motmans (Flickr)

Common name:
sedge warbler (en); felosa-dos-juncos (pt); phragmite des joncs (fr); carricerín común (es); schilfrohrsänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

Range:
This species breeds throughout most of Europe and western Asia, as far south as northern Spain, northern Italy, Turkey and Kazakhstan, and as far east as central Siberia. They migrate south to winter in most areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

Size:
These birds are 11,5-13 cm long and have a wingspan of 17-21 cm. They weigh 10-13 g.

Habitat:
The sedge warblers is mostly found in freshwater wetlands, particularly within reedbeds, but also in wet grasslands, water storage areas, dry savannas and arable land. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.400 m.

Diet:
They forage on low, thick vegetation, being mostly insectivorous. Sedge warblers take mayflies, dragonflies and damselflies, grasshoppers, aphids, lacewings, moths, beetles, flies and midges, but also eat berries such as elderberries and blackberries.

Breeding:
Sedge warblers breed in April-July and tend to be monogamous. The female builds the nest, a cup-shaped structure made of grass, stems, leaves and spider webs, woven around vertical plant stems, often reeds. The nest is lined with reed flowers, animal hairs and plant down. The female lays 3-7 greenish-yellow eggs with brown mottles, which she incubates alone for 12-15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 12-14 days after hatching, but continue to receive food from the parents for another 1-2 weeks.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 17,8-44,4 million individuals. The population is suspected to be declining due to loss of wetlands, droughts and the expansion of the Sahara desert, all affecting their wintering areas.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Wing-barred seedeater

Sporophila americana

Photo by Michel Giraud-Audine (Flickr)

Common name:
wing-barred seedeater (en); coleiro-do-norte (pt); sporophile à ailes blanches (fr); espiguero chocoano (es); wechselpfäffchen (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

Range:
These birds are found in northern South America and Central America, from northern Brazil and Peru to southern Mexico.

Size:
The wing-barred seedeater is 11-12 m long and weighs 12-13 g.

Habitat:
They are mostly found in open areas, such as grasslands, scrublands, pastures and agricultural areas, but sometimes also in tropical forests and within urban areas.

Diet:
The wing-barred seedeater feeds mainly on grass seeds, but also takes other seeds, berries and some insects. They forage in small flocks, often mixed with other species.

Breeding:
These birds nest in a flimsy cup built by the female with coarse plant material and lined with a few finer fibres. The nest is placed in low in a tree, up to 6 m above the ground. The female lays 2-3 pale grey eggs with brown speckles, which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The chicks fledge 2 weeks after hatching. Each pair can raise 2-4 broods per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The population is suspected to be declining owing to trapping pressure, but it is not considered threatened at present.