Monday, 30 September 2013

European pied flycatcher

Ficedula hypoleuca

(Photo from Red Book)

Common name:
European pied flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-preto (pt); gobemouche noir (fr); papamoscas cerrojillo (es); trauerschnäpper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

Range:
This species is found breeding throughout central and northern Europe, from France to northern Scandinavia and east to near Russia and northern Kazakhstan. There are also breeding populations in Spain, Morocco, northern Algeria and Tunisia. They migrate south to winter in sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Gabon and northern D.R. Congo.

Size:
These birds are 12-13,5 cm long and have a wingspan of 22 cm. They weigh 14-15 g.

Habitat:
The European pied flycatcher breeds mainly in open, mixed deciduous forests, especially in mature oak woodlands, but also in plantations, arable land, rural gardens and in gardens and parks within urban areas. Outside the breeding season they are also found in moist tropical forests, dry savannas and dry scrublands.

Diet:
They hunt insects by either sallying out from a perch or gleaning the foliage. Among their prey are beetles, caterpillars, ants, flies, bees, wasps, moths and also spiders.

Breeding:
European pied flycatcher breed in May-July. They can be either monogamous or polygynous and nest in a tree hole, or often on a nest box, up to 15 m above the ground. The female lays 6-8 greenish-blue eggs, which she mostly incubates alone for 13-15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 16-17 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 38-80 million individuals. The population has undergone a moderate decline over the last 3 decades, but it is not threatened at present.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Short-tailed antthrush

Chamaeza campanisona

Photo by Paulo Fenalti (Flickr)

Common name:
short-tailed antthrush (en); tovaca-campainha (pt); tétéma flambé (fr); tovacá colicorto (es); streifenbrust-ameisendrossel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Formicariidae

Range:
This species is found in two disjunct areas, one from central and northern Venezuela and along the eastern slopes of the Andes down to Bolivia, and another in south-eastern and southern Brazil, Paraguay and marginally into northern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 20 cm long and weigh about 70 g.

Habitat:
The short-tailed antthrush is mostly found in tropical rainforests, especially in mountainous areas, but also in some dry tropical forests. They are present at altitudes of 50-1.800 m.

Diet:
They hunt insects and other invertebrates on the ground, occasionally also following army ant swarms to hunt the invertebrates flushed by the ants.

Breeding:
Short-tailed antthrushes nest in a deep tree cavity, lined with green leaves, up to 2 m above the ground. The female lays 3 white eggs and there is no information regarding the length of the incubation period. The chicks fledge 16-19 days after hatching.

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

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Common bronzewing

Phaps chalcoptera

Photo by Graham Little (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
common bronzewing (en); pombo-d'asa-bronzeada (pt); colombine lumachelle (fr); paloma bronceada común (es); bronzeflügeltaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia, being found throughout the country, including in Tasmania.

Size:
These birds are 30-36 cm long and have a wingspan of 50-58 cm. They weigh 230-390 g.

Habitat:
The common bronzewing is found in almost any habitat type within their range, with the exception of the most barren deserts and the densest rainforests. They show some preference for open woodlands with low scrub cover, especially near water sources, also being common in parks and gardens.

Diet:
They eat various seeds and other plant matter, which they collect from the ground.

Breeding:
Common bronzewings can breed all year round. They nest in an untidy nest of sticks and twigs, which is normally placed low down in a tree or scrub, but may be up to 20 m above the ground. The female lays 2-3 creamy-white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 14-17 days. The chicks are fed crop milk and seeds by both parents and fledge 20-30 days after hatching.

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

Friday, 27 September 2013

Cape batis

Batis capensis

(Photo from Bird Forum)

Common name:
Cape batis (en); batis-do-Cabo (pt); pririt du Cap (fr); batis de El Cabo (es); Kapschnäpper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Platysteiridae

Range:
This species is found from Tanzania south to Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, eastern Mozambique and eastern and southern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 12-15 cm long and weigh 13 g.

Habitat:
The Cape batis is found in a wide range of habitats, including evergreen forests, Acacia woodlands, bushveld scrublands, plantations, gardens and orchards. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.150 m.

Diet:
They glean various insects from the leaves and bark of trees and scrubs, namely beetles, caterpillars and flies.

Breeding:
The Cape batis breeds in August-January. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of
a small, thickly-walled cup, made of dry plant material bound together by spider webs, lined with fine plant detritus or hair. It is usually placed on a horizontal branch of small shrub, about 1-9 m above ground. The female lays 1-3 eggs, which she incubates alone for 17-21 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are mainly brooded by the female and the male brings the food to the nest. They fledge 16 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 believed to be stable.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Cinnamon warbling-finch

Poospiza ornata

Photo by Federico Villegas (Ecoregistros)

Common name:
cinnamon warbling-finch (en); capacetinho-canela (pt); chipiu cannelle (fr); monterita canela (es); schmuckammerfink (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This species in endemic to Argentina, being found in the eastern part of the country from the provinces of Salta and Catamarca to Neuquén, Río Negro and southern Buenos Aires.

Size:
These birds are 13 cm long and weigh 10-15 g.

Habitat:
The cinnamon warbling-finch is mostly found in dry woodlands and scrublands, also using pastures and arable land. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They are mainly granivorous, eating the seeds of various grasses and forbs such as Setaria leucophylla, Sporobolus cryptandrus and Chenopodium papulosum. During the spring they supplement their diet with some arthropods and fruits.

Breeding:
Cinnamon warbling-finches breed in November-January. They nest in an open cup nests made of grass and forb stems, hairy achenes of composites, spider oothecas and silk. It is lined with thin vegetable fibres and placed on the grass among grasses and scrubs. The female lays 3-4 eggs, which she incubates alone for 10 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 8-9 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as uncommon to fairly common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The cinnamon warbling-finch may be highly sensitive to human activities that affect both vegetation cover and food abundance, also being negatively affected by droughts.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Northern fulmar

Fulmarus glacialis

Photo by Jörg Hempel (Wikipedia)

Common name:
northern fulmar (en); fulmar-glacial (pt); fulmar boréal (fr); fulmar boreal (es); eissturmvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Procellariiformes
Family Procellariidae

Range:
This species is found in the northern Atlantic, northern Pacific and Adacent areas of the Arctic ocean, ranging as far south as the British isles, Massachusetts, northern California and northern Japan. There are breeding colonies are mostly located in islands.

Size:
These birds are 45-50 cm long and have a wingspan of 100-115 cm. They weigh 700-900 g.

Habitat:
The northern fulmar is a pelagic predator, foraging on oceanic waters, mainly over continental shelves and along the limit of the continental shelves. They are found from the pack ice of Arctic waters to temperate waters. They breed in rocky islands and rocky cliffs up 1 km inland.

Diet:
They hunt fishes, squids and large zooplankton such as amphipods. They also take discarded fish from fishing vessels and carrion including whales, walruses and seal blubber.

Breeding:
Northern fulmars are monogamous and mate for life. They breed in April-October. The nest is a simple scrape on a grassy ledge or a saucer of vegetation on the ground, sometimes lined with bits of vegetation. There the female lays a single white egg, which is incubated by both parents for 47-53 days. The chick is fed by both parents and fledges 49-58 days after hatching. They reach sexual maturity at 5-12 years of age and may live for over 50 years.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 15-30 million individuals. The population in the northern Atlantic has increased in recent decades and also expanded in range, possibly as a result of the increased food availability from fish discards by fishing vessels. Pollution and mortality due to entanglement in fishing gear may be a problem in same areas.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

White-eyed vireo

Vireo griseus

Photo by Steve Patten (Life and Wildlife along the Little Buffalo River)

Common name:
white-eyed vireo (en); juruviara-d'olho-branco (pt); viréo aux yeux blanc (fr); vireo ojiblanco (es); weißaugenvireo (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Vireonidae

Range:
This species breeds in the eastern United States, from Idaho to Massachusetts and south to Florida and Texas, and also in eastern Mexico. The more southern populations are resident, but the northern ones migrate south to winter in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and the along the northern Caribbean.

Size:
These birds are 11-13 cm long and have a wingspan of 17-19 cm. They weigh 10-14 g.

Habitat:
The white-eyed vireo is mostly found in dry scrublands and savannas, as well as dense understorey of temperate and tropical forests, generally preferring areas near water. They also use mangroves and pastures and occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They are mostly insectivorous during the breeding season, taking caterpillars, flies, damselflies, mayflies, beetles, cockroaches, stink bugs, leafhoppers, lacewings, bees, ants, wasps, grasshoppers and also spiders. Outside the breeding season they feed on berries and small fruits.

Breeding:
White-eyed vireos breed in April-August. They are mostly monogamous and both sexes help build the nest, an open cup made of leaves, bark, plant fibres, rootlets, or bits of paper, held together with insect silk and spider webs, and decorated on the outside with lichens, moss or leaves. It is lined with rootlets, fine grass or hair, and placed on a fork in a small branch of a tree, usually near the ground. The female lays 3-5 white eggs with a few dark spots, which are incubated by both parents for 13-15 days. The chicks are raised by both parents and fledge 9-11 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 3-4 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common to abundant. The population as undergone a small increase over the last 4 decades.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Rufous-tailed hummingbird

Amazilia tzacatl

Photo by Joseph Boone (Wikipedia)

Common name:
rufous-tailed hummingbird (en); beija-flor-de-cauda-ruiva (pt); ariane à ventre gris (fr); amazilia de cola rufa (es); braunschwanz-amazilie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

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

Size:
These birds are 9-11 cm long and weigh 4,5-5,5 g.

Habitat:
The rufous-tailed hummingbird is mostly found in tropical moist forests, generally favouring forest clearings, forest edges and secondary forests. They also use mangroves, gardens in rural and urban areas, plantations and moist scrublands. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on nectar, especially of Heliconia, banana  and coffee flowers. They also hunt some small insects.

Breeding:
Rufous-tailed hummingbirds can breed all year round, varying between different parts of their range. Males are polygynous, mating with several females and having no further part in the breeding process. The female builds the nest, a cup made of plant fibres, leaves, and cobwebs and covered with lichen and moss. It is placed in a small tree or bush, 0,5-6 m above the ground. There she lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 15-16 days. The chicks are fed by the mother alone and fledge 18-22 days after hatching. They only become independent about 2 month later.

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 believed to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines, in fact this species may benefit from human presence as they often visit bird feeders, prefer areas where the vegetation was cut down and often feed at banana and coffee plantations.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Orange bishop

Euplectes franciscanus

Photo by Henrique Pires (Flickr)

Common name:
orange bishop (en); bispo-laranja (pt); euplecte franciscain (fr); obispo anaranjado (es); feuerwida (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family  Ploceidae

Range:
This species is found along the Sahel belt in sub-Saharan Africa, from southern Mauritania to Liberia and east to Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia. It has been introduced to the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico, Martinique and Guadeloupe, as well as Bermuda and Japan

Size:
These birds are 11-15 cm long and weigh 11-16 g.

Habitat:
The orange bishop is mostly found in wet, tropical grasslands, but also in dry grasslands, dry savannas and arable land.

Diet:
They feed mainly on green and ripe seeds of various grasses and small scrubs, which they pick directly from the plant. They also hunt insects during the breeding season.

Breeding:
Orange bishops are polygamous and form small breeding colonies. The nest is a globe made of grasses, suspended from a scrub near the ground. The female lays 2-5 white eggs which she incubates alone for 12 days. She raises the chicks alone, until they fledge 13-14 days after hatching.

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

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Slaty-breasted tinamou

Crypturellus boucardi

Photo by Brad Weinert (Flickr)

Common name:
slaty-breasted tinamou (en); inhambu-de-Boucard (pt); tinamou de Boucard (fr); tinamú pizarroso (es); graukehltinamu (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Tinamiformes
Family Tinamidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Mexico to Costa Rica.

Size:
These birds are 27-28 cm long and weigh 470 g.

Habitat:
The slaty-breasted tinamou is mostly found in tall rainforests with a high canopy, occasionaly also using degraded parches of former forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.


Diet:
They forage on the ground, taking fruits and seeds, as well as insects such as ants and termites. Occasionally, frogs and lizards are also consumed.


Breeding:
Slaty-breasted tinamous breed in January-April. They are polygynandrous, with males mating with 2-4 females, which afterwards go on to mate with other males. Each female lays 2-3 eggs on the ground, among thick vegetation or near the base of a tree, with different females using the same nest, which can hold up to 12 eggs. The male incubates the eggs alone for 16 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and follow the male around until they become independent 18-20 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 20.000-50.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction caused by logging and plantation cutting, as well as hunting. However, the slaty-breasted tinamou is not considered threatened at present.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Brahminy starling

Sturnus pagodarum

Photo by J.M. Garg (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Brahminy starling (en); estorninho-dos-pagodes (pt); étourneau des pagodes (fr); estornino de las pagodas (es); pagodenstar (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sturnidae

Range:
This species is found throughout India and also in Nepal, eastern Pakistan and marginally into Afghanistan. Some of the more northern populations migrate south to winter in Sri Lanka. The species was introduced in Oman and the United Arabian Emirates.

Size:
These birds are 20 cm long and weigh 40-55 g.

Habitat:
The Brahminy starling is mostly found in open, deciduous forests and tropical forests but also in plantations and arable land. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

Diet:
They feed on a wide variety of invertebrates, as well as the fruits, berries, flowers and nectar of a range of plants.

Breeding:
Brahminy starlings are monogamous and breed in February-September. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of an untidy structure of grass, dead leaves, paper and other materials, placed in the hole of a tree, or sometimes on a wall or in the roofs of buildings. They are also known to use nest boxes when no other suitable nest sites are available. The female lays 3-5 pale blue eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 18-21 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as local and erratic in Pakistan, frequent in western Nepal and uncommon in the centre and south, locally common in India and rare in Sri Lanka. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Snail kite

Rostrhamus sociabilis

(Photo from Ciencia de Cuba)

Common name:
snail kite (en); gavião-caramujeiro (pt); milan des marais (fr); caracolero común (es); schneckenweih (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Falconiformes
Family Accipitridae

Range:
This species is found from Florida and southern Mexico, through parts of the Caribbean and Central America and through most of South America as far south as southern Brazil and northern Argentina. They are mostly found east of the Andes, the only exceptions being coastal Ecuador and south-western Colombia.

Size:
These birds are 36-48 cm long and have a wingspan of 100-120 cm. They weigh 300-570 g.

Habitat:
The snail kite is found near freshwater lakes, marshes and other bodies of water, including flooded grasslands and rice fields. They favours areas with low vegetation and scattered scrubs or small trees. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

Diet:
They are specialized on freshwater snails, particularly Pomacea and Ampullaria. They also hunt small turtles, crabs and crayfish, but only when snails are not available.

Breeding:
Snail kites can breed all year round and can be either monogamous or polygamous. They nest in colonies and often re-use old nests abandoned in previous years. The nest is a bulky, loose cup made of sticks, unlined and placed on a small tree or scrub, 1-3 m above the water. The female lays 2-4 buffy white eggs with brown splotches, which are incubated by both parents for 27-28 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 2 months after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and is described as locally common. Some populations may be increasing, while other are being negatively impacted by habitat loss through wetland drainage, excessive use of pesticides and hunting.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Blue-crowned manakin

Lepidothrix coronata

Photo by Anselmo d'Affonseca (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
blue-crowned manakin (en); uirapuru-de-chapéu-azul (pt); manakin à tête bleue (fr); saltarín coroniazul (es); blauscheitelpipra (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Piptridae

Range:
This species is found from Costa Rica to Peru, Bolivia and north-western Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 8,5-9 cm long and weigh 12 g.

Habitat:
The blue-crowned manakin is mostly found on the understorey of tropical rainforests, also using some mature second growth forests. The are found from sea level up to an altitude of 1.400 m.

Diet:
They feed on small fruits and berries.

Breeding:
Blue-crowned manakins breed in February-June. The males gather in leks where they perform a simple display to attract females, having no further part in the breeding process after mating. The female builds the nest, a tiny cup made of of fine fibres and lined with pieces of leaves and moss. It is placed in the fork of an horizontal branch, up to 2 m above the ground. The female lays 2 white eggs with reddish-brown spots, which she incubates alone for 18-19 days. The chicks fledge about 15 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population is believed to be declining as is expect to loose 7-8% of suitable habitat in the next decade base on current models of Amazonian deforestation.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Great grey owl

Strix nebulosa

Photo by Jari Peltomäki (Luonto Portti)

Common name:
great grey owl (en); coruja-cinzenta (pt); chouette lapone (fr); carabo lapón (es); bartlauz (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

Range:
This species is widely distributed in the northern latitudes of Eurasia and North America. The subspecies S. n. nebulosa is found from Alaska, through most of Canada and into the western and extreme north-eastern United States. The subspecies S. n. lapponica is found from eastern Poland and Sweden, through most of Russia and into northern Kazakhstan, Mongolia and extreme north-eastern China.

Size:
These large owls are 61-84 cm long and have a wingspan of 137-152 cm. They weigh 790-1450 g.

Habitat:
The great grey owl is mostly found in boreal coniferous forests, especially in the taiga near the edge of the Arctic treeline, but also hunts over boreal scrublands and grasslands, tundra, bogs and swamps and occasionally in pastures. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 3.200 m.

Diet:
They hunt mainly during early morning and late afternoon, but also during the night and occasionally during the day. They feed mainly on small rodents, especially shrews and voles, but also other small mammals, birds such as crows, small hawks and ducks, amphibians, snakes and some insects.

Breeding:
Great grey owls breed in March-August. They are monogamous and nest in stick nests built by other birds, such as hawks, ravens or crows, also using artificial platforms and occasionally nesting on the ground. The nest is lined with conifer needles, deer hair, moss and shredded bark. The female lays 2-5 dull white eggs, which she incubates alone for 28-36 days while being fed by the male. The chicks are fed by both parents and leave the nest 25-30 days after hatching, but only start flying 1-2 weeks later. The male is responsible for feeding them after they leave the nest. They reach sexual maturity at 1-3 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 50.000-100.000 individuals. The population trend in likely to be fluctuating, although large increases have been recorded in parts of North America in recent decades.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Rufous songlark

Cincloramphus mathewsi

Photo by Deane Lewis (Australian Nature Photography)

Common name:
rufous songlark (en); rouxinol-de-Mathews (pt); mégalure de Mathews (fr); yerbera de Mathews (es); rostbürzel-lerchensänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia, being found throughout the country although the northernmost areas are only used during winter.

Size:
These bird are 16-19 cm long and weigh 30 g.

Habitat:
The rufous songlark is mostly found in dry grasslands and savannas, but can also be found in dry scrublands and arable land.

Diet:
They forage mostly on the ground, taking insects and other small arthropods.

Breeding:
Rufous songlarks breed in December-March. The female builds the nest, a deep cup of grass, placed on the ground among thick grass or other low vegetation, where she lays 2-3 eggs. The female incubates the eggs alone for 11 days and also raises the chicks on her own. There is no information regarding the length of the fledgling period.

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

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Hill partridge

Arborophila torqueola

Photo by Josep del Hoyo (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
hill partridge (en); perdiz-montesa (pt); torquéole à collier (fr); arborófila común (es); hügelhuhn (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

Range:
This species is found on the slopes of the Himalayas, in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and northern India, and also into Myanmar, northern Thailand and northern Vietnam.

Size:
These birds are 27-30 cm long and weigh 230-390 g.

Habitat:
The hill partridge is mostly found in mountain, moist tropical forests, but also uses tropical forests at lower altitudes and mountain moist scrublands. They are present at altitudes of 1.500-2.700 m.

Diet:
They feed on various seeds and invertebrates.

Breeding:
Hill partridges breed in April-June. The nest in a bowl or dome made of grass, placed on the ground or sometimes on a bank. The female lays 3-9 eggs which are incubated for 24 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be generally fairly common. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction, but it is not considered threatened at present.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Ruby-crowned kinglet

Regulus calendula

Photo by Guy Poisson (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
ruby-crowned kinglet (en); estrelinha-de-coroa-rubi (pt); roitelet à couronne rubis (fr); reyezuelo rubí (es); rubingoldhähnchen (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Regulidae

Range:
This species breeds throughout Canada, in the norther-eastern United States and in the western United States as far south as New Mexico, Arizona and southern California. Most population migrate south to winter in the western and southern United States, Mexico and Guatemala.

Size:
These birds are 9-11 cm long and have a wingspan of 15-18 cm. They weigh 5-10 g.

Habitat:
Ruby-crowned kinglets breed mostly in spruce-fir coniferous forests and also in some mixed deciduous and coniferous forests. Outside the breeding season they also use moist tropical forests and mountain scrublands. This species is found from sea level up to an altitude of 1-300 m.

Diet:
They feed on spiders, pseudoscorpions, and many types of insects, including aphids, wasps, ants, and bark beetles. They also eat some berries and tree sap.

Breeding:
The ruby-crowned kinglet is monogamous and breeds in May-July. The female builds the nest alone, a globed shaped structure made of grasses, feathers, mosses, spider webs and cocoon silk, and lined fine plant material and fur. It is placed in a small branch near the trunk of a tree, 5-30 m above the ground. She lays 5-12 whitish eggs with red-brown spots, which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 12-18 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status -LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 70 million individuals. The population has undergone a small increase over the last 4 decades.

Friday, 13 September 2013

White-faced whistling-duck

Dendrocygna viduata

Photo by Cláudio Timm (Flickr)

Common name:
white-faced whistling-duck (en); irerê (pt); dendrocygne veuf (fr); suirirí cariblanco (es); witwenpfeifgans (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae

Range:
This species is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including Madagascar, and also in South America, east of the Andes, from northern Venezuela and Colombia down to northern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 38-48 cm long and weigh 500-820 g.

Habitat:
The white-faced whistling-duck is found in various freshwater wetlands, including lakes, swamps, marshes, large rivers, floodplains and also man-made habitats such as rice fields, reservoirs and sewage farms, favouring areas with dense emergent vegetation. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They feed on grasses, seeds of aquatic plants, rice, pondweed, tubers, and also some aquatic invertebrates such as molluscs, crustaceans and insects.

Breeding:
White-faced whistling-ducks usually breed in the local rainy season. They are monogamous and can nest in solitary pairs, small groups or loose colonies. Each pair nests on a shallow depression in the ground, placed amongst long grass or reedbeds and very close to water. The female lays 4-13 days, which are incubated for 26-28 days. The chicks fledge 8 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 1,7-2,8 million individuals. The overall population trend in increasing although some populations are decreasing.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fan-tailed berrypecker

Melanocharis versteri

Photo by Dan Blair (Bird Forum)

Common name:
fan-tailed berrypecker (en); pica-bagas-de-leque (pt); piquebaie éventail (fr); picabayas abanico (es); fächerschwanz-beerenpicker (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Melanocharitidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the island of New Guinea, where it is mainly restricted to the mountain ranges along the center of the islands, both in Papua-New-Guinea and Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are 14-19 cm long. The males are smaller, weighing 12,5-15 g, while females weigh 16-20 g.

Habitat:
This species is mostly found in High-altitude scrublands and rainforests, but also in grasslands and second growths, at altitudes of 1.250-3.700 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on berries and small fruits, but will also take some small insects.

Breeding:
Fan-tailed berrypeckers can probably breed all year round. They nest in a sturdy, deep cup made of fern fibres and lined with lichens, usually placed on a fork in a tree or on an horizontal branch. There the female lay 1-2 eggs. The is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be scarce to fairly common. There is no information regarding population trends or threats, but the species is not considered threatened at present.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Red-ruffed fruitcrow

Pyroderus scutatus

Photo by Mauricio Rueda (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
red-ruffed fruitcrow (en); pavó (pt); coracine ignite (fr); yacú toro (es); rotkehlkotinga (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Cotingidae

Range:
This species is found in two separate populations, one in Venezuela, western Colombia and northern Peru, and another in south-eastern Brazil and Paraguay.

Size:
These birds are 38-50 cm and weigh about 350 g.

Habitat:
The red-ruffed fruitcrow is mostly found in rainforests, but also in dry tropical forests, at altitudes of 600-2.700 m.

Diet:
They feed on fruits and berries, namely Cecropia sp., both picking the fruits from the branches and collecting fallen fruits on the ground.

Breeding:
Red-ruffed fruitcrows breed in March-June. They nest on a large, untidy cup made of twigs, placed on a large branch near the trunk of a tree, 3,5-11 m above the ground. There the female lays a singe egg which she incubates alone for 20-24 days. The chick is fed by both parents and fledges about 35 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range but is described as uncommon and patchily distributed. Populations in some areas are declining due to habitat destruction and the species is also hunted for food, but it is not considered threatened at present.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Asian dollarbird

Eurystomus orientalis

Photo by Nial Moores (Birds Korea)

Common name:
Asian dollarbird (en); rolieiro-oriental (es); rolle oriental (fr); carraca oriental (es); dollarvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Coraciiformes
Family Coraciidae

Range:
This species breeds in extreme south-eastern Russia, Korea, Japan and eastern China, through Indochina and Indonesia and into eastern and southern India and northern and eastern Australia. The more northern and southern populations migrate while the central populations are resident.

Size:
These birds are 25-31 cm long and weigh 120 g.

Habitat:
The dollarbird is found in a wide range of habitats, including moist scrublands, temperate forests, moist tropical forests, pastures, arable land, rural gardens and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed almost exclusively on flying insects, which they catch on the wing or by sallying out from a perch.

Breeding:
Dollarbirds can breed all year round, varying between different parts of their range. They nest in an unlined tree hollow, where the female lays 3-4 white eggs. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 17-20 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 1 month after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, it is reported to be frequent to common throughout most of this range. The population is suspected to be in decline locally owing to ongoing habitat destruction.