Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Ruddy-tailed flycatcher

Terenotriccus erythrurus

Photo by Anselmo d'Affonseca (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
ruddy-tailed flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-uirapuru (pt); moucherolle rougequeue (fr); mosquerito colirrufo (es); rotschwanztyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found from southernmost Mexico, Guatemala and Belize south to central Bolivia and brazil down to Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Maranhão.

Size:
These tiny flycatchers are 9-10 cm long and weigh 7 g.

Habitat:
The ruddy-tailed flycatcher is mostly found in moist tropical forests and swamp forests, often favouring forest clearings. They also use dry tropical forests and tall second growths. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

Diet:
They eat insects, particularly leafhoppers, either picking them from the foliage or hunting on the wing.

Breeding:
Ruddy-tailed flycatchers nests on a pear-shaped pouch of plant fibres and leaves with a side entrance, built by the female 2–6 m above the ground in the undergrowth of the forest and suspended from a twig or vine. The female lays 2 white eggs with chocolate-brown blotches, which she incubates alone for 15-22 days. The chicks are raised by the female alone and fledge about 19 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 500.000-5.000.000 indivduals. The ruddy-tailed flycatcher is suspected to lose 15-17% of suitable habitat within its distribution over the next decade based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. It is therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Southern emuwren

Stipiturus malachurus

Photo by C. Tzaros (Birds in Backyards)

Common name:
southern emuwren (en);  carriça-australiana-meridional (pt); queue-de-gaze du sud (fr); maluro meridional (es); rotstirn-borstenschwanz (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Maluridae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia, being found along the southern coasts of the country from southern Queensland to south-eastern South Australia and in south-western Western Australia. It is also present in Tasmania.

Size:
These birds are 16-20 cm long, including the 10-11 cm long tail. They weigh 7-8 g.

Habitat:
The southern emuwren is mostly found in freshwater swamps with heaths, reeds and sedges, and in dry scrublands such as coastal heathland, but they also use deserts and rocky areas.

Diet:
They glean insects and spiders from the foliage, namely bugs, katydids, beetles, wasps, flies, ants, mantids and caterpillars. They are also known to take some vegetable matter including seeds


Breeding:
Southern emuwrens are socially monogamous and breed in August-March. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of an oval-shaped dome made of grasses and spider webs and lined with feathers. It is placed near the ground in a grass tussock or among dense scrubs. The female lays 2-4 eggs which she mainly incubates alone for about 12 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 8-11 days after hatching, but continue to rely on the parents for food for another 2-5 months. Each pair raises 1-2 broods per season and the young reach sexual maturity within their first year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be uncommon. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation, mainly through clearance for agriculture and construction of dams for water storage. Wildfires and the introduction of exotic predator and parasites may pose further threats to this species.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Square-tailed kite

Lophoictinia isura

(Photo from Flickr)

Common name:
square-tailed kite (en); milhafre-de-rabo-quadrado (pt); milan à queue carrée (fr); milano colicuadrado (es); schopfmilan (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Falconiformes
Family Accipitridae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia, breeding from northern Queensland south to Victoria but being found throughout most of the country outside the breeding season, with the exceptions of northern South Australia and eastern Western Australia.

Size:
These birds are 50-55 cm long and have a wingspan of 130-145 cm. They weigh 450-650 g.

Habitat:The square-tailed kite is mostly found in coastal and sub-coastal, Eucalyptus dominated open forests and woodlands, and inland riparian woodlands. they also use coastal heathland, forest edges and wooded suburban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They mostly hunt small birds, particularly honeyeaters, including their eggs and nestling, but also large insects, reptiles, frogs and small mammals.


Breeding:
Square-tailed kites are monogamous and mate for life. They breed in July-December and the nest is a large platform made of sticks and lined with green Eucalyptus leaves. It is placed in a fork in a tall tree, 8-34 m above the ground. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for 37-42 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 8-9 weeks after hatching, but only become fully independent 1-2 months later. Each pair raises a single clutch per year.


Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 1.000-10.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. However, it may be vulnerable to certain activities which include habitat loss by logging, clearing and burning for cultivation and grazing, as well as illegal egg collection or hunting, nest disturbance and unsuitable fire regime management.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Ferruginous babbler

Trichastoma bicolor

Photo by James Chong (Oriental Bird Images)


Common name:

ferruginous babbler (en); zaragateiro-ruivo (pt); akalat ferrugineux (fr); tordina bicolor (es); weißwangen-maustimalie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

Range:
This species is found in southern Thailand and extreme southern Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

Size:
These birds are 16,5-18 cm long and weigh about 30 g.

Habitat:
This species is found in lowland tropical rainforests, particularly evergreen mixed dipterocarp forests, swamp forests, second growths and selectively logged forests, old plantations and locally in mangroves. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 900 m.

Diet:
They feed on ants and other insects.

Breeding:
The ferruginous babbler breeds in February-September. The nest is a small untidy cup made of dead bamboo and other leaves, placed on a plant up to 0,8 m above the ground, or in a depression in a bank. the female lays2 eggs. there is no information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods.

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

Saturday, 26 April 2014

African grey hornbill

Tockus nasutus

Photo by Carmelo López (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
African grey hornbill (en); calau-cinzento (pt); calao à bec noir (fr); toco piquinegro (es); grautoko (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Coraciiformes
Family Bucerotidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, from south-western Mauritania and Guinea east to southern Sudan and Ethiopia, and south Namibia, Botswana and north-eastern South Africa. They are mostly absent from the Congo river basin. It also occurs along the Rea Sea coast of south-western Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Size:
These birds are 43-51 cm long and weigh 160-230 g.

Habitat:
The African grey hornbill is mostly found in dry savannas and woodlands, also using tropical forests and dry grasslands. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They are mostly carnivorous, hunting rodents, frogs and bird eggs and nestlings, as well as spiders and large insects such as grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars. They also take fruits such as figs, and peanuts.

Breeding:
African grey hornbills can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. They nest in a tree hole or sometimes on a rock crevice or abandoned barbet nest, which the female seals from the inside with her own faeces leaving just a small slit through which the males feeds her. She lays 2-5 eggs which she incubates alone for about 24 days. The chicks are fed by the female while the males provides her food, fledging 43-49 days after hatching. They only become fully independent a few weeks later.

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

Friday, 25 April 2014

African crested-flycatcher

Trochocercus cyanomelas

(Photo from Lee's Birdwatching Adventures)


Common name:
African crested-flycatcher (en); monarca-de-poupa (pt); tchitrec du Cap (fr); monarca de El Cabo (es); blaumantel-haubenschnäpper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

Range:
This African species is found from Uganda, Kenya and southern Somalia, though Tanzania, southern D.R. Congo, Zambia and Mozambique, and into eastern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 10 g.

Habitat:
African crested-flycatchers are mostly found in the undergrowth of moist tropical forests, also using dry tropical forests and dry scrublands.

Diet:
They hunt small invertebrates, either by gleaning the foliage or on the wing.

Breeding:The African crested-flycatcher breeds in September-January. The nest is a thick-walled cup, made of bark fibres, moss, fine grass and lichen, bound together with spider webs.There the female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both sexes. 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 but patchy breeding range and is reported to be uncommon to frequent. The population is estimated to be in decline based on the lack of recent records in some areas.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Red warbler

Ergaticus ruber

(Photo from NaturaLista)

Common name:
red warbler (en); mariquita-vermelha (pt); paruline rouge (fr); reinita roja (es); purpur-waldsänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Parulidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Mexico, being found form southern Chihuahua to southern Hidalgo.

Size:
These birds are 12,5-13,5 cm long and weigh 7,5-9 g.

Habitat:
The red warbler is found in humid and semi-humid pine, pine-oak, fir and to a lesser extent oak forests, located at high-altitudes. They are present at altitudes of 2.000-3.500 m.

Diet:
They are insectivorous, gleaning various insects from the foliage.

Breeding:
Red warblers breed in February-May. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of an oven-shaped structure made of pine needles, grass, lichens, moss and dead leaves. She lays 3-4 pale pink eggs with brown spots, which she incubates alone for 16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 10-11 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

American oystercatcher

Haematopus palliatus

Photo by Dick Daniels (Wikipedia)

Common name:
American oystercatcher (en); ostraceiro-americano (pt); huîtrier d'Amérique (fr); ostrero americano (es); braunmantel-austernfischer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Haematopodidae

Range:
This species breeds along both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America and South America, from New Jersey and Baja California south to central Chile and Argentina, including several islands in the Caribbean.

Size:
These birds are 40-44 cm long and have a wingspan of 76-90 cm. They weigh 400-700 g.

Habitat:
The American oystercatcher is found in various coastal habitats, including rocky and sandy beaches, mudflats, salt ponds, salt marsh islands, estuaries and river mouths.

Diet:
They feed on oysters, mussels, clams and limpets, as well as snails, crabs, sea urchins, starfish and worms.

Breeding:
American oystercatchers are monogamous and breed in February-July. They nest on a shallow depression on the ground, located just above the high water mark. The female lays 2-4 buff-grey eggs with dark-brown speckles, which are incubated by both parents for 24-29 days. The chicks leave the nest within 24 h of hatching. They start flying after 5 weeks, but continue to follow the parents for several month until they learn the basic feeding techniques and become fully independent.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common. The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends. In North America the populations has undergone a large increase of 20% per decade over the last 4 decades.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Red-crested finch

Coryphospingus cucullatus

Photo by Dario Sanches (Wikipedia)

Common name:
red-crested finch (en); tico-tico-rei (pt); araguira rougeâtre (fr); brasita de fuego(es); haubenkronfink (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This South American species is found from northern Argentina north to central Brazil, Bolivia and Peru, also with isolated populations in northern Brazil and the Guyanas.

Size:
These birds are 13-14 cm long and weigh 14-22 g.

Habitat:
The red-crested finch is mostly found in dry tropical scrublands, also using tropical forests, second growths, pastures and arable land. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.600 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, taking seeds, fruits and invertebrates.

Breeding:
Red-crested finches breed in a shallow cup made of plant fibres and lined with animal hairs, placed in a fork 3-12 m above the ground. There the female lays 2-3 white to buff eggs with a few brown spots, which she incubates alone for 11-15 days. The chicks fledge 11-14 days after hatching, but are not yet able to fly. They continue to be fed by the male and only become independent 3-4 weeks later. Each pair can raise 2-3 clutches per year.

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

Monday, 21 April 2014

Narina trogon

Apaloderma narina

Photo by Bo Jerkeman (iGoTerra)

Common name:
Narina trogon (en); republicano (pt); trogon Narina (fr); trogón de Narina (es); Narinatrogon (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Trogoniformes
Family Trogonidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, from southern Guinea east to southern Sudan and Ethiopia, south to Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and through southern Mozambique into south-eastern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 29-34 cm long and weigh 50-95 g.

Habitat:
The Narina trogon is mostly found in tropical rainforests, gallery forests and dry savannas, but also use scrublands, second growths, alien Eucalyptus plantations and rural gardens. They are present at altitudes of 50-3.500 m.

Diet:
They mainly hunt invertebrates, such as caterpillars and adult moths, mantids, cicadas, tree grasshoppers, beetles, termite alates and spiders. Rarely, they also take chameleons and skinks.

Breeding:
Narina trogons are monogamous and can breed all year round. They nest in an unlined natural tree cavity, where the female lays 2-4 eggs. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 16-21 days. The chicks are mainly fed by the male and fledge 25-28 days after hatching, but will remain with their parents for several months even after being able to forage on their own.

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

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Bright-rumped attila

Attila spadiceus

Photo by Greg Lavaty (Osa Recording Project)

Common name:
bright-rumped attila (en); capitão-de-saíra-amarelo (pt); atila polimorfo (es); gelbbürzel-attilatyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found from western and southern Mexico south to Bolivia and north-western Brazil. There is also a disjunct population in coastal south-eastern Brazil, from Pernambuco to Rio de Janeiro.

Size:
These birds are 18-19 cm long and weigh 40 g.

Habitat:
The bright-rumped attila is mostly found in moist tropical forests, but also in dry tropical forests, savannas, second growths, banana and cacao plantations and rural gardens. They tend to favour forests edges and gallery forests and occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.100 m.

Diet:
They hunt insects and spiders, also taking frogs, lizards, berries and seeds.

Breeding:
These birds breed in March-July. The nest is a bulky cup made of fibrous rootlets, rachises of compound leaves, and pieces of green fern frond or moss. It is lined with finer materials and placed among epiphytes, between buttresses or on a river or road bank, usually 0,8-3 m above the ground. The female lays 3-4 whitish, pinkish or yellowish eggs with brown to lilac spots and speckles, which she incubates alone for 14-15 days. the chicks fledge 17 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The bright-rumped attila is suspected to loose 12,5-13,5% of suitable habitat within its range over the next decade, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Therefore, it is suspected to undergo a small decline in the near future.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Galapagos rail

Laterallus spilonotus

Photo by George Armistead (Neotropical Birds)

Common name:
Galapagos rail (en);  franga-d'água-das-Galápagos (pt); râle des Galapagos (fr); polluela de Galápagos (es); galapagosralle (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Gruiformes
Family Rallidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, where it occurs on the islands of Pinta, Fernandina, Isabela, Santiago, Santa Cruz, Floreana, and San Cristóbal.

Size:
These birds are 15-16 cm long and weigh 35-45 g.

Habitat:
The Galapagos rail is mostly found in high-altitude grasslands and scrublands, especially ferns and sedges, as well as moist forests and freshwater lakes and marshes. They also use mangroves and arable land. This species is present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.700 m.

Diet:
They are mainly insectivorous, taking ants, dragonflies, moths, bugs, isopods, spiders, amphipods and snails. They are also known to eat the seeds of Miconia robinsonia and a few other plants.

Breeding:
Galapagos rails are monogamous and breed in September-April. They nest on the ground, in a cup made of plant stems with a side entrance. The female lays 3-6 beige eggs with reddish-brown and grey speckles, which are incubated by both parents for 23-25 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and reach adult size 80-85 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively small and disjunct breeding range. The global population is estimated at 3.300-6.700 individuals. The population is estimated to be declining at rate of 9% per year, possibly due to predation by introduced mammals such as rats, cats, dogs and pigs, and natural predators like the short-eared owl Asio flammeus and the barn owl Tyto alba. Another threat is habitat destruction as a result of grazing by introduced herbivores such as goats, cattle and horses. The small size of several of the populations If makes them vulnerable to extinction through natural disturbances, inbreeding and population changes of predators and herbivores. The invasion of the highlands of Santa Cruz by exotic Cinchona may lead to a reduction in the fern and sedge vegetation types it favours.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Tawny-winged woodcreeper

Dendrocincla anabatina

Photo by Marc Fasol (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
tawny-winged woodcreeper (en); arapaçu-d'asa-ruiva (pt); grimpar à ailes rousses (fr); trepatroncos sepia (es); lohschwingen-baumsteiger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Dendrocolaptidae

Range:
This species is found in Central America, from southern Mexico down to Costa Rica and marginally into Panama.

Size:
These birds are 17-19 cm long and weigh about 40 g.

Habitat:
The tawny-winged woodcreeper is mostly found in evergreen and semi-deciduous moist tropical forests, also using second growth, dense scrublands and mangroves. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.250 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects, but also take small lizards and some plant material. They often
follow groups of squirrel monkeys and army ant swarms to capture fleeing insects.


Breeding:
Tawny-winged woodcreepers nest in tree cavities or hollow trunks, 1,5-6 m above the ground, which they line with plant fibres and lichens. There the female lays 2 eggs which she incubates alone for 20-21 days. The chicks are raised by the mother and fledge 23-25 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. This population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Double-eyed fig-parrot

Cyclopsitta diophthalma

Photo by Carl Stow (Wikipedia)

Common name:
double-eyed fig-parrot (en); papagaio-do-figo-de-cara-azul (pt); psittacule double-œil (fr); lorito dobleojo (es); maskenzwergpapagei (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

Range:
This species is found in New Guinea and neighbouring islands, as well as along the north-eastern coast of Queensland, in Australia.

Size:
These tiny parrots are 14-16 cm long and weigh 39-55 g.

Habitat:
The double-eyed fig-parrot is found in moist tropical forests, mangroves, second growths, forests edges, riverine forests and occasionally dry forest and open eucalypt woodland. In Australia, they also use rural gardens and parks within urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.600 m.

Diet:
They feed on seeds, mainly Ficus seeds, which they take from ripe or near-ripe fruits.

Breeding:
These birds breed in March-December. The nest is a hole excavated mainly by the female on a rotten tree trunk or a dead limb in a living tree, some 12 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 18-21 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 27-52 days after hatching, but only become fully independent about 10 days later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 100.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Willow warbler

Phylloscopus trochilus

Photo by Arend Wassink (Birds of Kazakhstan)

Common name:
willow warbler (en); felosa-musical (pt); pouillot fitis (fr); mosquitero musical (es); fitis (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

Range:
This species throughout most of Europe and northern Asia, from the northern Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles to northern Scandinavia and east through Poland and the Ukraine into most of Russia as far as the pacific coast and south to northern Kazakhstan and marginally into Mongolia. they migrate south and south-west to winter throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Size:
These birds are 11-12,5 cm long and have a wingspan of 17-22 cm. They weigh 6-15 g.

Habitat:
The willow warbler is found breeding in a wide range of habitats, including deciduous and mixed forests in both temperate and boreal areas, forest clearings, open scrubby woodlands, scrublands, plantations, orchards and gardens. Outside the breeding season they also use mangroves, tropical forests, dry grasslands and savannas, swamps and lakes. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on small insects and spiders, as well as their eggs and larvae. Outside the breeding season fruits, berries and other plant materials are also an important part of their diet.

Breeding:
Willow warblers breed in April-August. The nest is built mostly by the female, consisting of a domed structure made of dry grass, leaves, stems, moss, lichen, twigs and bark woven together, and lined with animal hair and feathers. It is usually placed on the ground, well concealed among grass or at the base of a scrub or tree. Occasionally, the willow warbler may place the nest in a tree, crevice or creeper, up to 5 m above the ground. The female lays 4-8 glossy white eggs with reddish-brown speckles, which she mainly incubates alone for 10-16 days. The chicks are fed mostly by the female and fledge 11-15 days after hatching, becoming fully independent 2 weeks later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population roughly estimated at 340-1.200 million individuals. In Europe, populations have undergone a moderate decline over the last 3 decades.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Little tinamou

Crypturellus soui

Photo by João Quental (Wiki Aves)

Common name:
little tinamou (en); tururim (pt); tinamou soui (fr); tinamú chico (es); brauntinamu (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Tinamiformes
Family Tinamidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Mexico down to Bolivia and Brazil as far south as Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro.

Size:
These birds are 20-24 cm long and weigh 170-250 g.

Habitat:
The little tinamou is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using moist tropical scrublands, second growths and plantations such as pines, coffee, bananas, cassava and sugarcane. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, taking seeds, berries, insects and occasionally frogs. The seeds taken include Panicum, Paspalum, Scleria, Amaranthus, a spurge, oxalis, mallow, grape, passionflower, Styrax, and Solanum. They are known to hunt cockroaches, ants, termites, beetles, bugs and caterpillars.

Breeding:
Little tinamous can breed all year round. The nest is a small scrap on the forest floor, usually under a thick scrub and sometimes lined with leaves. There the female lays 1-2 glossy purple eggs, which the male incubates alone for 16-20 days. The chicks leave the nest within 24 h of hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 0,5-5 million individuals. The little tinamou is suspected to lose 18-23% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 2 decades based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Given its susceptibility to hunting and trapping, it is therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Black-and-white tanager

Conothraupis speculigera

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
black-and-white tanager (en); tiê-preto-e-branco (pt); tangara à miroir blanc (fr); tangara albinegra (es); spiegeltangare (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

Range:
This species breeds in the western slope of the Andes in south-western Ecuador and north-western Peru. They migrate east to winter on the eastern slopes of the Andes in Peruvian Amazonia and marginally into Brazil and Bolivia.

Size:
These birds are 16 cm long and weigh 23-28 g.

Habitat:
The black-and-white tanager breeds in deciduous woodland, gallery forests and riparian thickets up to an altitude of 1.950 m. outside the breeding season they move to lower altitudes and use the edges of tropical rainforests, second growths and riparian habitats.

Diet:
They feed on insects and seeds.

Breeding:
These birds breed in February-May. The nest is an untidy, loosely woven cup made of sticks and leaf petioles, lined with dark fungal rhizomorphs. It is placed in a small tree or scrub, 0,5-2,5 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-4 whitish to pale bluish eggs with reddish-brown and black speckles and blotches. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a relatively large breeding range, but is described as uncommon and patchily distributed. The black-and-white tanager is suspected to lose 10% of suitable habitat within its distribution over the next decade, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation and is therefore expected to suffer a small decline in the near future. It is threatened by deforestation and understorey degradation, which may be further isolating populations within its already disjunct range.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

African olive-pigeon

Columba arquatrix

Photo by Adam Riley (Stellenbosch Birds)

Common name:
African olive-pigeon (en); pombo-d'olho-amarelo (pt); pigeon rameron (fr); paloma ojigualda (es); oliventaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This African species is patchily distributed from Ethiopia, through Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique into eastern and southern South Africa, and through Zambia and southern D.R. Congo into Angola.

Size:
These birds are 37-42 cm long and weigh 300-450 g.

Habitat:
The African olive-pigeon is mostly found in moist tropical forests and riverine forests, also using mangroves, scrublands, alien tree plantations and urban gardens and parks where there are plentiful fruit trees and scrubs. They are present at altitudes of 300-3.200 m.

Diet:
They feed almost exclusively on the fruits of a wide variety of native and alien plant species, also taking some fallen seeds an nuts occasionally.

Breeding:
These birds can breed all year round. They are monogamous and both sexes help build the nest, a circular platform of twigs, with a depression in the middle, sometimes lined with leaves. It is placed in a fork in a tree up to 15 m above the ground. The female lays 1-2 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 17-20 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 19-20 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large but patchy breeding range and is reported to be uncommon to frequent and locally common. The population is suspected to be declining overall owing to hunting and habitat loss, although it has increased in South Africa owing to protective measures.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

White-plumed antbird

Pithys albifrons

Photo by Vincent Rufray (GEPOG)

Common name:
white-plumed antbird (en); papa-formiga-de-topete (pt); fourmilier manikup (fr); hormiguero cuerniblanco (es); weißgesicht-ameisenvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Venezuela, Colombia and the Guyanas, south to northern Brazil, north of the Amazon river, and along the eastern slopes of the Andes down to southern Peru.

Size:
These birds are 11-14 cm long and weigh 18-20 g.

Habitat:
The white-plumed antbird is found in tropical rainforests, mainly using the understorey of terra firme forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.350 m.

Diet:
They follow ant swarms, taking insects and sometimes even small lizards that are flushed by the ants.

Breeding:
White-plumed antbirds nest on a cup made of dead leaves, placed on a small tree in the forest understorey up to 1 m above the ground. The female lays 2 pinkish-white eggs with brown spots, which are incubated by both parents for about 15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 12 days after hatching.

Conservation:IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The white-plumed antbird is suspected to lose 10-11% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 2 decades based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, being therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Aztec thrush

Ridgwayia pinicola

Photo by Chris West (Arizona Field Ornithologists)

Common name:
Aztec thrush (en); tordo-asteca (pt); grive aztèque (fr); zorzal azteca (es); Aztekendrossel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Mexico, being found in the western and central parts of the country from Sonora to Oaxaca. Occasionally, vagrant birds may wander into the southern United States.

Size:
These birds are 22-24 cm long and have a wingspan of 40 cm. They weigh 65-90 g.

Habitat:
The Aztec thrush is found in mountain, moist tropical forests, at altitudes of 1.800-3.500 m.

Diet:
They feed on insects and other arthropods, worms, fruits and berries.

Breeding:
Aztec thrushes breed in May-September. The nest is an open cup made of moss, grasses, mud and twigs, and lined with finer materials. It is placed in a fork or branch of a tree. The female lays 2-3 light blue eggs, which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The chicks are raised by both parents and fledge about 2 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 20.000-50.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Emerald toucanet

Aulacorhynchus prasinus

Photo by Larry Thompson (Discover Life)

Common name:
emerald toucanet (en); tucaninho-de-nariz-amarelo (pt); toucanet émeraude (fr); tucán esmeralda (es); laucharassari (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Piciformes
Family Ramphastidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Mexico down to north-western Venezuela and Colombia, and south along the Andes to central Bolivia.

Size:
These birds are 29-38 cm long and weigh 120-240 g.

Habitat:
The emerald toucanet is mostly found in mountain rainforests and cloud forest, also using forest edges, second growth adjacent to forests, scrublands, plantations, pastures and rural gardens. They are mostly present at altitudes of 900-3.700 m, but can visit lowland areas down to sea level.

Diet:
They eat a wide variety of fruits as well as terrestrial invertebrates and small vertebrates. Some of the fruits taken include Nectandra spp., Ocotea spp., Phoebe spp., Cestrum spp. and Solanum spp. They hunt a wide range of invertebrates, such as spiders, centipedes, grasshoppers, bugs, beetles, butterflies, flies, and wasps, and also bird nestlings and eggs, small lizards and snakes.

Breeding:
Emerald toucanets breed in January-July. They are monogamous and nest in either a natural tree holes or old woodpecker nests, which is they enlarge in order to get inside. The nest is located 2-30 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-4 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for about 16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 42-45 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline locally owing to ongoing habitat destruction, particularly due to forest clearance for coffee plantations.