Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Slaty bristlefront

Merulaxis ater

Photo by Don Robertson (Creagrus)

Common name:
slaty bristlefront (en); entufado (pt); mérulaxe noir (fr); macuquiño negro (es); südlicher stirnhaubentapaculo (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Rhinocryptidae

This species is endemic to south-eastern Brazil, being found along the coast from south-eastern Bahia to northern Santa Catarina.

These birds are 17-18,5 cm long and weigh 33-37 g.

The slaty bristlefront is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using mature secondary forests. They prefer areas with sense undergrowth and occur at altitudes of 800-1.800 m.

They usually forage in pair, taking insects and other small invertebrates.

Slaty bristlefronts possibly breed in July-February. They nest in holes in earth banks and are believed to be single-brooded, but there is no other information on the reproduction of this species.

IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a large breeding range but is described as uncommon. The population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate, owing to continuing habitat loss and degradation through agricultural conversion and deforestation for mining, urbanization and associated road-building.

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