Monday, 31 March 2014

Dickcissel

Spiza americana

(Photo from Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
dickcissel (en); papa-capim-americano (pt); dickcissel d'Amérique (fr); arrocero americano (es); dickzissel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Cardinalidae

Range:
This species breeds in central North America, ranging as far north as Minnesota, North Dakota and marginally into southern Canada, and south to Texas and South Louisiana. From east to west it ranges from the states of Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, west as far as Colorado. They migrate south to winter along the Pacific coast of central and southern Mexico, along the pacific slopes of Central America and into northern Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and marginally into Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 14-16 cm long and have a wingspan of 25 cm. They weigh 23-29 g.

Habitat:
The dickcissel is mostly found in tall grasslands, including prairies, hayfields, cereal crops, lightly grazed pastures, and roadsides. They can also use moist savannas. This species is present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed on seeds and insects. During winter they often flock over crop fields to eat grain and are considered a pest by farmers.

Breeding:
These birds breed in May-June. The female builds the nest alone, a bulky cup woven out of weed and grass stems, and lined with finer grasses, rootlets, and hair. It is usually placed slightly above the ground in dense vegetation. There she lays 3-6 pale blue eggs which are incubated for 12-15 days. The chicks are fed various invertebrates and fledge 8-10 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 22 million individuals. The population suffered a dramatic decline in the 1960s and 1970s but is now considered stable although it may be still declining in some areas. In part of their wintering range they are hunted and illegally poisoned by farmers who consider them crop pests.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Garganey

Anas querquedula

Photo by Kasia Someya (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
garganey (en); marreco (pt); sarcelle d'été (fr); cerceta carretona (es); kräkente (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae

Range:
This species breeds throughout most of Europe and northern Asia, from the northern Iberian Peninsula and England, north to Finland and east through Turkey and southern Russia into Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia and extreme north-western and north-eastern China. Also in the Japanese island of Hokkaido and in southern Kamchatka. They migrate south to winter in sub-Saharan Africa and southern China. In Africa, along the Nile river valley from Egypt to Uganda and southwards into Tanzania and Zambia, and also westwards through South Sudan, southern Chad and Cameroon into Senegal and southern Mauritania. In Asia from India and southern China down to Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are 37-41 cm and have a wingspan of 59-67 cm. They weigh 550-600 g.

Habitat:
The garganey breeds in small, shallow ponds and lakes with abundant floating, emergent and fringing vegetation, and in grass dominated environments, like swampy meadows, flooded fields and shallow freshwater marshes. Outside the breeding season they prefer large freshwater or occasionally brackish lakes, again with abundant floating, emergent and fringing vegetation, and also shallow flood plains, shallow dams, pans and sewage ponds. Occasionally,  they also use coastal saltmarshes and lagoons or even marine inshore waters.

Diet:
During the breeding season they are omnivorous, taking molluscs, aquatic insects and their larvae such as waterbugs, caddisflies, water beetles and midges, crustaceans  such asostracods and phyllopods, worms, leeches, young and spawn of frogs, and small fish, but also seeds, roots, tubers, stems, leaves and buds of plants such as hornwort Ceratophyllum, naiad Najas, sedges, grasses and other aquatic plants. Outside the breeding season they are mainly herbivorous,  taking the seeds of pondweeds, smartweeds Polygonum, sedges, dock Rumex, wild rice and various grass.

Breeding:
Garganeys breed in March-August. The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with leaves and grasses, usually placed in a meadow under rushes or tall grasses and within 150 m of water. The female lays 8-11 beige eggs which she incubates alone for 21-23 days. The chicks fledge 35-42 days after hatching and reach sexual maturity after 1 year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 2,6-2,8 million individuals. The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends. The threats affecting this species include habitat degradation and destruction, agricultural intensification, hunting and predation by invasive species.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Brubru

Nilaus afer

Photo by Robert Erasmus (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
brubru (en); brubru (pt); brubru africain (fr); brubrú (es); brubruwürger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Malaconotidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, from the Sahel down to northern South Africa, but is mostly absent from the lowland rainforests of the Congo river basin.

Size:
These birds are 12-15 cm long and weigh 20-25 g.

Habitat:
The brubru is mostly found in dry savannas and dry tropical forests, also using dry tropical scrublands. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They feed on arthropods, which they either glean from the foliage or hawk aerially. They sometimes join mixed-species foraging flocks with other passerines.

Breeding:
These birds can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The breed in solitary pairs, with both sexes helping build the nest, a small, neat cup made of fine plant material such as twigs, tendrils and bark held together with spider web. The nest is often decorated with lichens and placed in a fork in a tree, well camouflaged among the foliage. The female lays 1-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 19 days. The chicks fledge 20-22 days after hatching but only become fully independent about 8 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and is described as not uncommon. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Dusky myzomela

Myzomela obscura

(Photo from Australia's National Landscapes)

Common name:
dusky myzomela (en); melífago-sombrio (pt); myzomèle ombré (fr); mielero sombrío (es); rußhonigfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family  Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is found along the coasts of Queensland and the Northern territory, in Australia, and also along the southern coast of New Guinea and in the nearby islands of Aroe, North Maluku and Biak.

Size:
These birds are 12-15 cm long and weigh 12 g.

Habitat:
the dusky myzomela is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using moist scrublands, mangroves, dry savannas, plantations and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on nectar.

Breeding:
Dusky myzomelas can breed all year round, but with a peak in March-September. The nest is a small, neat cup made of fine bark, spider webs, and leaves, usually placed on a well-hidden branch high over water. The female lays 2 white eggs with fine reddish spots which are incubated 12-13 days. The chicks are fed largely on nectar and fledge 13-15 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as moderately common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Red goshawk

Erythrotriorchis radiatus

Photo by Patrick Ingremeau (PBase)

Common name:
red goshawk (en); açor-vermelho (pt); autour rouge (fr); azor rojo (es); fuchshabicht (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Falconiformes
Family Accipitridae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia, being sparsely distributed in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country, from western Kimberley Division to north-eastern New South Wales. There are also some records in central Australia probably referring to dispersive individuals.

Size:
These birds are 45-60 cm long and have a wingspan of 100-135 cm. The females are larger, weighing around 1,1 kg while the males weigh around 630 g.

Habitat:
The red goshawk is found in coastal and sub-coastal forests, including  moist tropical forests, temperate forests, riverine forests, swamp forests and dry savannas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They hunt mainly birds, particularly parrots, passerines, kookaburras, pigeons and cuckoos, but occasionally also larger prey such as ducks, herons and megapodes. Mammals, reptiles and insects are rarely taken.

Breeding:
Red goshawks breed in My-December. They are probably monogamous and breed in solitary pairs. The nest is a large structure made of dead sticks with a saucer-shaped hollow top, thickly lined with finer twigs and green eucalyptus leaves. It is placed on an exposed fork in a tall tree, 15-30 m above the ground, and within 1 km of a watercourse or wetland. The female lays 1-2 eggs, which she incubates alone for 39-43 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 51-53 days after hatching, but continue to be receive food from the parents for another 70–80 days.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a very large breeding range, but the global population is estimated at just 1.000-1.400 individuals. The population may be declining owing to habitat loss in at least eastern Queensland, but the rate of decline is not suspected to be rapid. Historical declines n this species were possibly caused by widespread clearance for agriculture, a problem still affecting the more northern populations. Other threats include egg collecting, forest fires, shooting, pesticide abuse and reduced prey abun­dance caused by loss or degradation of freshwa­ter wetlands, loss of hollow-bearing trees in which prey breed, over-grazing by livestock and feral herbivores, and changed fire regimes.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Rufous-headed pygmy-tyrant

Pseudotriccus ruficeps

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
rufous-headed pygmy-tyrant (en); piolhinho-ruivo (pt); tyranneau à tête rousse (fr); tiranuelo cabecirrojo (es); rotkopftyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found along the Andes mountain chain, from northern Colombia south to central Bolivia.

Size:
These birds are 11 cm long and weigh 7-9 g.

Habitat:
The rufous-headed pygmy-tyrant is mostly found in mountain rainforests, but also uses moist scrublands and occasionally visits lowland rainforests. They are usually present at altitudes of 1.850-3.350 m, but may visit lower areas down to 400 m.

Diet:
They are mainly insectivorous.

Breeding:
These birds breed in October-December. the nest is an oven-shaped structure with side entrances, made of moss and dry leaves and lined with feathers of other bird species, namely  barred fruiteaters Pipreola arcuata. It is placed on a small sapling or on a woody vine, up to 1,5 m above the ground, often near a small stream. There the female lays 2 white eggs which are incubated for 25 days. The chicks are fed by both parents but there is no information regarding the length of the fledgling period.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. Deforestation is believed to be causing local extinctions of this species, thus the overall population is suspected to be in decline. However, the rufous-headed pygmy-tyrant is not considered threatened at present.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Oriental bay-owl

Phodilus badius

Photo by Peter Ericsson (Owl Pages)

Common name:
oriental bay-owl (en); coruja-da-baía-oriental (pt); phodile calong (fr); lechuza cornuda (es); maskeneule (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Strigiformes
Order Tytonidae

Range:
This species found in south-east Asia from Bangladesh and southern China down to the Indonesian islands of Borneo, Sumatra and Java. There was also a population in the island of Samar, in the Philippines, which apparently became extinct during the 20th century.

Size:
These birds are 23-33 cm long and weigh 255-310 g.

Habitat:
The oriental bay-owl is found in moist tropical forests and mangroves, as well as in fruit tree plantations and cultivated areas near forest edges. they are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.200 m.

Diet:They feed on small rodents, bats, small birds, lizards, frogs, and large insects such as beetles and grasshoppers.

Breeding:
Oriental bay-owls breed in March-July. They nest in tree holes, rotten tree trunks or stumps, or cavities, where the female lays 3-5 eggs. There is no available information on the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range, but is considered to be very rare throughout most of this range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Monday, 24 March 2014

White-ruffed manakin

Corapipo altera

Photo by Larry Thompson (Discover Life)

Common name:
white-ruffed manakin (en); rendeira-de-garganta-branca (pt); manakin à fraise (fr); saltarín de barba blanca (es); weißkragenpipra (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Pipridae

Range:
This species is found from the eastern Honduras south to Colombia and western Venezuela.

Size:
These birds are 10 cm long and weigh 12-13 g.

Habitat:
The white-ruffed manakin is found in the understory of moist tropical forests, especially in lowland areas, but also in mountainous areas up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They forage among the foliage in the forest understorey, taking mainly fruits, such as Casearia arborea, Conostegia cooperi, Henriettella tuberculosa, Miconia smaragdina, Oreopanax sp. and Ossaea sp., but also some insects. They often join tanagers and other birds in mixed-species foraging flocks.

Breeding:
White-ruffed manakins breed in April-June. The males form a lek where they display to attract females, having no further part in the breeding process after mating. Each female builds her nest, a shallow cup made of dark fungal filaments and dry leaves. The nest is placed in an horizontal fork, 5-7 m above the ground. She lays 2 whitish eggs with brown markings, which she incubates alone for 18-21 days. The chicks are fed by the mother but there is no information regarding the length of the fledgling period.


Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common in Costa Rica and fairly common to common in Panama. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

California gull

Larus californicus

(Photo from Les Animaux du Monde)

Common name:
California gull (en); gaivota-da-Califórnia (pt); goéland de Californie (fr); gaviota californiana (es); Kaliforniermöwe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Laridae

Range:
This species breeds inland, from central Canada, in Alberta, Saskatchewan and the southern parts of the Northwest Territories, and through North Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho into Washington, Oregon, California and western Nevada, in the United States. With the exception of some resident populations in Washington, the California gull winters along the Pacific coast of North America from southern British Columbia, Canada, to Colima, Mexico.

Size:
These birds are 45-54 cm long and have a wingspan of 122-140 cm. They weigh 430-1.050 g.

Habitat:
The California gull breeds on rocky islands in freshwater and hypersaline inland lakes and rivers, as well as in marshes. Outside the breeding season they also use coastal waters, sandy beaches, estuaries, mudflats, pastures, agricultural fields and garbage dumps. they are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.800 m.

Diet:
They have a very varied diet, including fish, insects, earthworms, small mammals such as gophers and mice, birds, aquatic invertebrates, grain, fruits and garbage.

Breeding:
California gulls breed in April-July. They nest in colonies and the pairs are monogamous. The nest is a scrape in sand or dirt, sometimes lined with vegetation, feathers and bones, where the female lays 2-5 buff to greenish eggs with dark spots, speckles and blotches. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 23-27 days. The chicks may leave the nest after a few days but remain in the immediate area. they are fed by both parents and fledge 47-54 days after hatching. They reach sexual maturity at 4 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 0,5-1 million individuals. The population is believed to be increasing.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Icterine bulbul

Phyllastrephus icterinus

Photo by Guillaume Passavy (Oiseaux)

Common name:
icterine bulbul (en); tuta-icterino (pt); bulbul ictérin (fr); bulbul icterino (es); zeisigbülbül (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Pycnonotidae

Range:
This species is found in West Africa, from southern Guinea and Sierra Leone to Ghana, and from southern Nigeria, though Cameroon and Gabon, and into Congo and D.R. Congo.

Size:
These birds are 16 cm long and weigh 15-22 g.

Habitat:
The icterine bulbul is mostly found in lowland rainforests, but also uses swamp forests, mountain rainforests and dry savannas.

Diet:
These birds are strictly insectivorous, searching for insects among the foliage.

Breeding:
Icterine bulbuls can breed all year round. The cup shaped nest is made of twigs, dead leaves, grasses and fungi, and usually placed in an open canopy tree up to 6 m above the ground. the female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated for 12-14 days. The chicks fledge 11-12 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as generally common to abundant. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. However, some forests within its range are threatened by clearance for shifting cultivation and degradation through the removal of understorey tree species to create cacao plantations.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Black-bellied sandgrouse

Pterocles orientalis

Photo by David Lanza (Ornito Addiction)

Common name:
black-bellied sandgrouse (en); cortiçol-de-barriga-preta (pt); ganga unibande (fr); ganga ortega (es); sandflughuhn (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Pterocliformes
Family Pteroclidae

Range:
This species is found in the Iberian Peninsula, in north-west Africa from southern Morocco to north-western Libya, and in south-eastern and central Asia from Turkey, Cyprus and north-eastern Egypt, through Iraq and Iran and into southern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and north-western China. The central Asian population migrate south to winter in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and north-western India. There are also resident populations in the islands of Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Size:
These birds are 30-40 cm long and have a wingspan of 60-75 cm. They weigh 300-480 g.

Habitat:
The black-bellied sandgrouse is mostly found in dry grasslands and scrublands, also using arable land and desert areas.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seeds, also taking buds, leaves and shoots of a wide range of grasses, herbs and scrubs.

Breeding:
Black-bellied sandgrouse breed in March-August. They nest on the ground, on a shallow depression sometimes lined with pieces of dried grasses and circled with small stones. There the female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 21-28 days. The chicks are precocial, leaving the nest soon after hatching and being able to feed by themselves. However, they rely on their parents for drinking, with the father usually being responsible for collecting drinking water in stores in its breast feathers from where the young suck the water. they start flying 3-4 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 0,5-4 million individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Ashy-headed greenlet

Hylophilus pectoralis

Photo by Michel Giraud-Audine (Flickr)

Common name:
ashy-headed greenlet (en); vite-vite-de-cabeça-cinza (pt); viréon à tête cendrée (fr); verdillo cabecigrís (es); aschkopfvireo (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Vireonidae

Range:
This South American species is found from eastern Venezuela and the Guyanas, into coastal north-eastern Brazil and also further inland along the Amazon basin almost as far as Manaus, and through Tocantins and Goiás into Mato Grosso, Rondônia and across the border into north-eastern Bolivia.

Size:
These birds are 12-13 cm long and weigh 11,5-12 g.

Habitat:
The ashy-headed greenlet is mostly found in lowland rainforests and mangroves, but also uses dry tropical forests, scrublands, second growths and rural gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 600 m.

Diet:
They feed on insects and berries.

Breeding:
Ashy-headed greenlets nest in an deep cup woven with grasses and plant fibres, which is placed in  fork in a scrub or tree. There the female lays 2 eggs which are incubated by both parents. There is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population trend is currently unknown but the ashy-headed greenlet it is not believed to be declining significantly.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Southern giant-petrel

Macronectes giganteus

Photo by J.J. Harrison (Wikipedia)

Common name:
southern giant-petrel (en); petrel-gigante-do-sul (pt); pétrel géant (fr); abanto-marino antártico (es); riesensturmvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Procellariiformes
Family Procellariidae

Range:
This species is found in the southern oceans, from Antarctica north to southern Australia, southern Africa and southern South America. They breed in sub-Antarctic islands and along the coasts of Antarctica, namely on the Falkland Islands, Staten Island and islands off the Chubut Province of Argentina, South Georgia, the South Orkney and South Shetland Islands, islands near the Antarctic Continent and Peninsula, Prince Edward Islands, Crozet Islands, Heard Island and Macquarie Island, Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha, Diego Ramirez and Isla Noir, Kerguelen Islands, and four localities on the Antarctic Continent including Terre Adélie.

Size:
These birds are the largest petrels in the World, at 84-99 cm long and with a wingspan of 180-205 cm. Males tend to be larger, weighing 4,2-4,9 kg while the females weigh 3,4-3,8 kg.

Habitat:
The southern giant-petrel are pelagic birds, foraging in the open sea as well as in coastal waters, but also use sandy and rocky intertidal areas. They breed in sub-Antarctic grasslands, sea cliffs bare rocky areas, manly in oceanic islands.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seal and penguin carcasses, also taking offal, refuse from ships and discarded fish. They also hunt krill, amphipod crustaceans and squids, as well as penguins and other seabirds.

Breeding:
These birds breed in October-March. They form loose colonies of up to 300 pairs, with each nest consisting of a cup on the ground, made of grass, moss and gravel. There the female lays a single white eggs, which is incubated by both parents for 55-66 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 104-132 after hatching. The juveniles spend their first years at sea, on an extensive migration in which they often circumnavigate the Southern Ocean. They reach sexual maturity at 6-10 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 65.000-100.000 individuals. The population has undergone a small decline over the last 6 decades. At present, different populations have different trends, but overall the southern giant-petrel population is believed to be increasing. Longline fisheries cause significant mortality on this species, but improved mitigation in many longline fisheries appears to have reduced bycatch levels. Localised decreases have also been attributed to reductions in southern elephant seal Mirounga leonina, which forms an important source of carrion, human disturbance and persecution.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Kerala laughingthrush

Strophocincla fairbanki

Photo by M. Chandru (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Kerala laughingthrush (en); zaragateiro-de-Kerala (pt); garrulaxe de Fairbank (fr); charlatán de Kerala (es); Keralahäherling (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the Western Ghats of southern Kerala and southern Tamil Nadu, in southern India.

Size:
These birds are 17-19 cm long.

Habitat:
The Kerala laughingthrush is mostly found in high altitude scrublands, especially along streams, but also use tea and cardamom plantations, the edges of secondary forests and broadleaved evergreen forests, and rural gardens. they are present at altitudes of 800-2.400 m.

Diet:
They feed on the nectar of of Lobelia excelsa, Rhododendron sp. and Strobilanthes sp. as well as the berries and fruits of Viburnum sp., Eurya sp., Rubus sp., Maesa sp., Luvunga sp., Trema sp. and Rhodomyrtus tomentosa. They also take some insects.

Breeding:
Kerala laughingthrushes breed in December-June, with a peak in April-May. The nest is a cup made of grasses, rootlets and moss, lined with fine plant fibres and feathers, and placed on fork among dense scrubs, usually 0,5-5 m above the ground. The female lays 2 blue eggs with reddish markings, which are incubated for 14-16 days. The chicks fledge 15-17 days after hatching. After the chicks fledge, or in the event they are predated, the parents destroy the nest.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species as a small and fragmented breeding range, but is described as locally fairly common. The population is suspected to be declining as a result of habitat loss and degradation, mainly through livestock grazing and harvesting of fuel wood and other forest products such as bamboo and canes. Furthermore, hydroelectric power development and road-building are causing reductions in forest cover in some areas. Having a mountain distribution that is close to the maximum altitude within its range, this species is potentially susceptible to climate change.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Papuan lorikeet

Charmosyna papou

Photo by Phil Palmer (Bird Holidays)

Common name:
Papuan lorikeet (en); lóri-da-Papua (pt); lori papou (fr); lori rabilargo (es); Papualori (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the island of New Guinea, being found both in Indonesia and in Papua-New Guinea.

Size:
These birds are 25 cm long and weigh 90-115 g.

Habitat:
The Papuan lorikeet is mostly found in Nothofagus-Podocarpus mountain rainforests, also using second growth areas. They are present at altirudes of 1.500-3.500 m.

Diet:
They feed on nectar, pollen, possibly flowers, flower buds, fruits and small seeds.

Breeding:
Papuan lorikeets breed in August-November. They nest on tree hollows, where the female lays 2 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 26-28 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 56-64 days after hatching, but only become fully indepedent 4-6 week after fledging.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be fairly common throughout this range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Olive sunbird

Nectarinia olivacea

Photo by Alan Manson (Wikipedia)

Common name:
olive sunbird (en); beija-flor-oliváceo (pt); souimanga olivâtre (fr); suimanga oliva (es); olivnektarvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Nectariniidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal and Guinea, along the Gulf of Guinea nations down to Gabon and northern Angola, east through D.R. Congo into Kenya and Ethiopia, and south through Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique, and into eastern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 13-16 cm long and weigh 11-12 g.

Habitat:
The olive sunbird is found in dense tropical forests, mangroves, dry scrublands, banana and Eucalyptus plantations and well-wooded gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.200 m.

Diet:
They on the nectar of a wide range of plants, as well as eating fruits, sucking fruit juices and hunting small arthropods such as termites and spiders.

Breeding:
Olive sunbirds breed in August-March. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of an elongate, pear-shaped structure made of a variety of materials, such as fine grass, twiglets, moss, lichen, leaves and Marasmius fungus bound together with spider web. It is typically attached at the roof to a branch or creeper beneath a dense canopy, or alternatively it can be put amongst roots and cavernous hollows on the ground in the forest or beside a stream, or even within a building or in a hanging basket. The female lays 1-3 eggs, which she incubates alone for 13-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-16 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is is described as common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Long-billed starthroat

Heliomaster longirostris

Photo by Jim Watt (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
long-billed starthroat (en); bico-recto-cinzento (pt); colibri corinne (fr); colibrí piquilargo (es); rosenkehlkolibri (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Mexico down to Ecuador, eastern Peru, northern Bolivia, and north-western and central Brazil. It is also present in Trinidad and Tobago, but absent from all other Caribbean islands.

Size:
These birds are 10-12 cm long and weigh 6,5-7 g.

Habitat:
The long-billed starthroat is mostly found in moist tropical forests, especially in forest clearings, but also uses dry tropical forests, moist scrublands, pastures, second growths and sometimes gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on the nectar of flowers with very long corollas, such as Erythrina and Heliconia. They also consume insects.

Breeding:
Long-billed starthroats breed in October-March. Males are polygamous, mating with several females and having no further part in the breeding process. Females build their nests, each consisting of a broad cup made of spider webs, moss, lichens and plant fibres. The nest is placed in an horizontal branch or sometimes on a telephone wire, usually 4,5-12 m above the ground. There she lay 2 eggs which she incubates alone for 18-19 days. She raises the chicks alone and they fledge 25-26 days after hatching, but continue to be fed by their mother for another 3 weeks.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The long-billed starthroat is suspected to lose 13-15% of suitable habitat within its range based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, so the population is expected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Friday, 14 March 2014

White-bridled finch

Melanodera melanodera

Photo by Laurent Demongin (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
white-bridled finch (en); escrevedeira-de-sobrolho-branco (pt); mélanodère à sourcils blancs (fr); yal cejiblanco (es); schwarzkehl-ammerfink (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This species is found in southern Argentina, from Santa Cruz to Tierra de Fuego, as well as in southern Magellanes in southern Chile and in the Falkland Islands.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 25-35 g.

Habitat:
The white-bridled finch is found in dry grasslands and pastures, often near human settlements. On the Falklands they also use grass-heath habitats.

Diet:
They feed on a wide variety of seeds.

Breeding:
White-bridled finches breed in September-February. The nest is made of fine grass and hidden amongst dense ground vegetation or in crevices. The female lays 3-4 blue-grey or grey-green eggs withpurple-brown markings. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range but is described as uncommon. The population on the Falklands is estimated at 7.000-14.000 breeding pairs. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat degradation caused by over-grazing

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Scaly-throated honeyguide

Indicator variegatus

Photo by Steve Garvie (Flickr)

Common name:
scaly-throated honeyguide (en); indicador-de-garganta-malhada (pt); indicateur varié (fr); indicador variegado (es); strichelstirn-honiganzeiger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Piciformes
Family Indicatoridae

Range:
This species is found in eastern and southern Africa, from Ethiopia, through Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and west to Angola and south to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and eastern South Africa.

Size:
These bird are 18-19 cm long and weigh about 60 g.

Habitat:
The scaly-throted honeyguide is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including coastal and riparian forests, but also uses dense miombo Brachystegia sp. savannas, scrublands and plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.200 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on beeswax and honey bees Apis melifera, which they often obtain by guiding humans or honey badgers Mellivora capensis to bee hives and then taking the spoils after the hive is opened. They also hunt other insects such as flies, aphids, beetles, ants and caterpillars, and occasionally eat figs.

Breeding:
These birds breed in September-January. They are polygynous and brood parasitic. The males are territorial and mate with multiple females within their territory, each female then laying 1 egg in the nest of a host, either a woodpecker, a barbet or a tinkerbird. The host incubates the egg for 18 days, after which the honeyguide chick will kill the other chicks in the nest. It is fed by the hosts and fledges 27-35 days after hatching, quickly becoming fully independent after fledging.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be relatively common and widespread. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Galápagos mockingbird

Nesomimus parvulus

Photo by Ian Hempstead (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Galápagos mockingbird (en); sabiá-das-Galápagos (pt); moqueur des Galapagos (fr); sinsonte de Galápagos (es); Galapagosspottdrossel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Mimidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, being found in most of the islands in the archipelago with the exception of Floreana, Española and San Cristóbal.
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Size:
These birds are 25-26 cm long and weigh 40-45 g.

Habitat:
The Galápagos mockingbird is found in most habitats available in the islands, including dry and coastal scrublands, mangroves and dry tropical forests such as Bursera woodlands. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on arthropods, such as caterpillars and centipedes, but also take small lava lizards Microlophus sp., sea bird eggs and nestlings, young finches, fruits and nectar from cacti and other plants.

Breeding:
Galápagos mockingbirds are cooperative breeder, living in groups of up to 24 birds including one or several breeding females. They breed mostly in January-April. The nests are made of twigs and placed low on a cactus or small tree. Each female lays 3-4 eggs which are incubated for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and by male helpers, fledging 11-17 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively small breeding range but is described as common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.