Monday, 3 February 2014

Torrent tyrannulet

Serpophaga cinerea

Photo by Peter Franze (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
torrent tyrannulet (en); alegrinho-das-torrentes (pt); tyranneau des torrents (fr); piojito guardarrĂ­os (es); sturzbach-kleintyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found in Costa Rica and western Panama, and along the Andes mountain chain from western Venezuela to central Bolivia.

Size:
These birds are 9,5-11,5 cm long and weigh 8 g.

Habitat:
The torrent tyrannulet is almost exclusively found along mountain rivers and streams, preferring fast-flowing watercourses along tropical forests. They are also known to use marshes, swamp forests and river banks in lowland areas. This species is present at altitudes of 250-3.700 m.

Diet:
They are insectivorous, taking flying insects such as dragonflies, moths, mayflies and caddisflies.

Breeding:
Torrent flycatchers are predominantly monogamous and breed in January-October, varying between different parts of their range. The nest is a sturdy cup made of rootlets, fine fibres and moss, and lined with down feathers. It is placed among vegetation overhanging a stream, 0,5-4 m above the water. The female lays 2 buffy white, unmarked eggs, which she incubates alone for 17-18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 17 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 5-6 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The torrent flycatcher is negatively affected by the siltation of watercourses in some areas.

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