Friday, 16 May 2014

Caatinga antwren

Herpsilochmus sellowi

Photo by Stephen Jones (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
caatinga antwren (en); chorozinho-da-caatinga (pt); grisin de Sellow (fr); tiluchí de caatinga (es); caatingaameisenfänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

This species in endemic to Brazil, being found in the interior north-eastern part of the country from Maranhão and Ceará to Minas Gerais.

These birds are 12 cm long and weigh 7-8 g.

They are found in caatinga scrublands and along the edges of dry savannas and dry tropical forests, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

The caatinga antwren is insectivorous and forages in low scrub vegetation.

These birds nest in a small, unlined cup made of fungal hyphae, grass blades, leaves and spider webs. The nest is placed in a fork in a small tree, about 4 m above the ground. The female lays 2 light beige eggs with brown spots, which are incubated by both parents. There is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledgling periods.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as uncommon to fairly common. Although there are no data on population trends, the caating antwren is suspected to be declining, owing to habitat destruction and degradation through agricultural expansion, grazing, burning and road construction. However, the species is reportedly able to use secondary habitats, suggesting that it is tolerant to some habitat degradation.

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