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 guardarríos (es); sturzbach-kleintyrann (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

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

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

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.

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

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.

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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