Thursday, 23 October 2014

Cinereous warbling-finch

Poospiza cinerea

Photo by Jefferson Silva (Focusing on Wildlife)

Common name:
cinereous warbling-finch (en); capacetinho-cinza (pt); chipiu à tête cendrée (fr); monterita cabeza negra (es); graukopf-ammerfink (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

This species is endemic to south-eastern Brazil, and currently only found in a few scattered locations in Minas Gerais, Goiás and Mato Grosso do Sul.

These birds are 13 cm long and weigh8,5-15 g.

The cinereous warbling-finch is found in cerrado habitats, including dry grasslands and dry savannas, at altitudes of 600-1.400 m.

They feed on insects and seeds.

These birds breed in October-December. The nest is a cup made of dry grasses, small roots and twigs, placed in a fork in a tree about 3 m above the ground. The female lays 3 light cream eggs with reddish-brown spots. There is no inforation regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively large, but fragmented breeding range. The global population is estimated at 6.000-15.000 individuals. The population was believed to be declining rapidly due to current rates of habitat loss, but new data suggests they are tolerant to degraded areas, so the suspected declines may have to be revised. Within their range natural habitats are being degraded and destroyed through grazing, invasive grasses, annual burning and conversion to agriculture for Eucalyptus plantations, soy bean and pastures for exportable crops, with two thirds of the cerrado region having been moderately to heavily altered in the last century, especially since the 1950s. This species suffers from brood-parasitism by shiny cowbirds Molothrus bonariensis, which will presumably increase with conversion to pastures.

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