Saturday, 31 May 2014

Freckled duck

Stictonetta naevosa

Photo by Dick Daniels (Wikipedia)

Common name:
freckled duck (en); pato-sardento (pt); sitctonette tachetée (fr); pato pecoso (es); affenente (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae

Range:
This species is found in wetlands in south-eastern and south-western Australia.

Size:
These birds are 48-59 cm long and have a wingspan of 75-85 cm. They weigh 0,8-1 kg.

Habitat:
The frecked duck is mostly found in permanent fresh water swamps and creeks with heavy growth of bullrushes, Lignum or tea tree. During droughts they also use ephemeral swamps, lakes, reservoirs and sewerage ponds.

Diet:
They feed at dawn, dusk and during the night, taking on algae, seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic grasses and sedges, and small invertebrates.

Breeding:
Freckled ducks breed mainly in September-December, but it varies with rainfall. The nest is made from finely woven twigs with a layer of down, and placed among dense vegetation at or near water level. The female lays 5-14 eggs which she incubates alone for 28 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching but remain with their mother until fledging which takes place about 9 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively small and fragmented breeding range and the global population is estimated at 7.300-17.000 individuals. The population trend is suspected to be fluctuating, being strongly influenced by drought cycles. During times of inland drought, when they are found closer to the coast, freckled ducks are at risk of being misidentified as game species and shot by duck-hunters. The main threat at present are the plans to extract water from the Paroo River and Cooper's Creek, which would affect the flooding of critical inland swamps. For the time being these plans have been shelved, however, should they proceed, it is estimated that the resulting reduction in habitat quality could cause a 20% population decline within 15 years.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Tasmanian scrubwren

Sericornis humilis

Photo by J.J. Harrison (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Tasmanian scrubwren (en); acantiza-do-mato-castanha (pt); séricorne brun (fr); sedosito pardo (es); Tasmansericornis (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Acanthizidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Tasmania, King Island and other offshore islands in the Tasmanian region.

Size:
These birds are 12-15 cm long and weigh about 18 g.

Habitat:
The Tasmanian scrubwren is mostly found in dense temperate forests and scrublands, and using marshes, bogs and urban areas.

Diet:
They usually forage in pairs, mainly taking insects but also some seeds. 

Breeding:
Tasmanian scrubwrens breed in August-December. The nest is a domed or spherical structure with a side entrance, made of bark, grass and moss, and lined with feathers and fur. The female lays 2-4 pale purple eggs with brown spots which are incubated for 17 days. The chicks fledge about 2 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and is described as quite widespread and fairy common. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to large-scale commercial forestry and perhaps industrial scale pesticide use.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Puff-throated bulbul

Alophoixus pallidus

Photo by António Gonçalves (Flickr)

Common name:
puff-throated bulbul (en); tuta-pálido (pt); bulbul pâle (fr); bulbul pálido (es); blassbauch-haubenbülbül (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Pycnonotidae

Range:
This species is found in southern China, eastern Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Size:
These birds are 23 cm long.

Habitat:
The puff-throated bulbul is found in moist tropical forests, mainly in lowland areas, but also in some mountain slopes.

Diet:
They feed on fruits and invertebrates.

Breeding:
Puff-throated bulbuls breed in February-July. They often breed cooperatively, with helpers participating in nest-building, incubating and feeding the young. The nest is a deep cup made of dry leaves and lined with fine rootlets, placed in an horizontal fork in a small tree, 1-15 m above the ground. The female lays 2-3 whitish of pale cream eggs with dark rusty-red blotches, which are incubated for 12-13 days. The chicks fledge 10-11 days after hatching.

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

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Great cormorant

Phalacrocorax carbo

Photo by Björn Dellming (PBase)

Common name:
great cormorant (en); corvo-marinho-de-faces-brancas (pt); grand cormoran (fr); cormorán grande (es); kormoran (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Pelecaniformes
Family Phalacrocoracidae

Range:
This widespread species is found throughout most of Europe, central and southern Asia, north-western and eastern Africa, along the coast of eastern North America, and throughout Australia.

Size:
These large cormorants are 70-100 cm long and have a wingspan of  120-160 cm. They weigh 2,6-3,7 kg.

Habitat:
The great cormorant is found in coastal waters, estuaries, rocky shores, mangroves, large lakes and rivers, and deep marshes, including inland wetlands located far from the coast.

Diet:
They mostly hunt fish, such as sculpins, capelins, gadids, mullets and flatfishes, but also crustaceans, amphibians, molluscs and bird nestlings.

Breeding:
Great cormorants are monogamous and pair bonds may last several years. They nest in colonies of up to 9.000 pairs, each pair nesting in a rocky ledge in a small rocky island or coastal cliff, which they line with twigs. The female lays 3-5 bluish-green eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 28-31 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 45-55 days after hatching, but continue to receive food from the parents for another 2-3 months. They reach sexual maturity at 2-4 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and a global population estimated at 1,4-2,9 million individuals. The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Tristan thrush

Nesocichla eremita

Photo by Garry Bakker (PBase)

Common name:
Tristan thrush (en); tordo-de-Tristão da Cunha (pt); grive de Tristan da Cunha (fr); zorzal de Tristán da Cunha (es); Tristandrossel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Tristan da Cunha, in the South Atlantic Ocean, where it is found on Tristan, Inaccessible, Nightingale, Middle and Stoltenhoff islands.

Size:
These birds are 23 cm long and weigh 80-125 g.

Habitat:The Tristan thrush is found in all available habitats in the islands, including rocky shorelines, tussock grassland, fern-dominated scrublands, wet heathland and rural gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 300 m.

Diet:They are highly opportunistic, taking earthworms and other soil invertebrates, as well as, berries,
dead birds, fish offal, kitchen scraps, and the eggs and fledglings of other birds including seabirds such as the Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos, the great shearwater Puffinus gravis and the endemic spectacled petrel Procellaria conspicillata. They are even known to kill adult white-bellied storm petrels Fregetta grallaria and white-faced storm petrels Pelagodroma marina directly, probably by taking them from their burrows.

Breeding:
Tristan thrushes breed in September-February. The nest is a rough cup woven from tussock fronds and grass stalks with some moss and leaves, placed on or just above the ground. There the female lays 2-4 pale green eggs with reddish-brown spots. There is no available information regarding the incubation period, but the chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 20 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a small breeding range and a global population estimated at 1.500-7.000 individuals. The population is currently suspected to be stable as there is no evidence foor declines or serious threats. Still, predation by black rats Rattus rattus is a possible threat on Tristan, and translocations of birds between islands, a common practice in the past, resulted in hybridisation, which is another concern.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Pearl kite

Gampsonyx swainsonii

Photo by Douglas Oliveira (Aves de Rapina Brasil)

Common name:
pearl kite (en); gaviãozinho (pt); élanion perle (fr); elanio enano (es); perlaar (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Falconiformes
Family Accipitridae

Range:
This species is found from Nicaragua south to Bolivia and northern Argentina, also occuring in the island of Trinidad.

Size:
These birds are 20-23 cm long and have a wingspan of 50-58 cm. They weigh 80-115 g.

Habitat:
The pearl kite is mostly found in dry savannas, also using open tropical forests and woodlands, second growths, dry scrublands, wet grasslands, agricultural areas and even within urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

Diet:
They mainly hunt lizard, especially Anolis sp., but also insects, frogs and small birds.

Breeding:
Pearl kites nest in a small, shallow platform made of fine twigs, which is built by both sexes and placed high up in a tree. The female lays 2-4 white eggs with brownish of greyish-violet markings, which she mainly incubates alone for 28-35 days. The chicks are fed by the female, while the male provides her food, and fledge about 5 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 1.000-10.000 individuals. The pearl kite is currently expanding in range as deforestation creates new areas of suitable habitat.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Crested bellbird

Oreoica gutturalis

Photo by Eric Tan (Feathers and Photos)

Common name:
crested bellbird (en); sibilante-de-crista (pt); carillonneur huppé (fr); silbador campanillero (es); haubendickkopf (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Pachycephalidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia, being found throughout most of the country, with the exception of the northernmost and easternmost areas.

Size:
These birds are 19-23 cm long and weigh 60-70 g.

Habitat:
The crested bellbird is found in dry scrublands and savannas, including Acacia, Eucalyptus and Spinifex dominated areas.

Diet:
They forage on the ground or among low scrubs, taking invertebrates and seeds.

Breeding:
Crested bellbirds are monogamous but pair bonds only last one season. They breed in August-December and the nest is a deep cup made of twigs and bark, and lined with bark, leaves and plant fibres. It is placed in a fork or hollow in a dead tree, usually less than 2 m above the ground. The female lays 1-4 white or bluish eggs with dark brown and grey blotches. The eggs are incubated by both parents for about 16 days. The chicks fledge about 12 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be locally common. The population is estimated to de in decline following recorded decreases, probably owing to habitat destruction and fragmentation through land clearance.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Scaly-crowned babbler

Malacopteron cinereum

Photo by Peter Ericsson (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
scaly-crowned babbler (en); zaragateiro-de-barrete-escamado (pt); akalat à calotte maillée (fr); tordina coroniescamada (es); rotstirn-zweigtimalie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

Range:
This species is found from Vietnam and Thailand to the Indonesian islands of Borneo, Sumatra and Java.

Size:
These birds are 16 cm long and weigh 14-21 g.

Habitat:
The scaly-croned babbler is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using swamp forests and second growths.

Diet:
They are mainly insectivorous.

Breeding:
There is no available information on the reproduction of the scaly-crowned babbler.

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

Friday, 23 May 2014

Golden-bellied starfrontlet

Coeligena bonapartei

Photo by Alberto Schu (Digital Photography Review)

Common name:
golden-bellied starfrontlet (en); beija-flor-de-barriga-dourada (pt); inca de Bonaparte (fr); inca ventridorado (es); goldbauchmusketier (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found in northern Colombia and western Venezuela, along the Andes and in Sierra de Perija.

Size:
These birds are 11-14 cm long and weigh 6-7 g.

Habitat:
The golden-bellied starfrontlet is found in mountain rainforests and high-altitude tropical scrublands, at altitudes of 1.400-3.200 m.

Diet:
They mainly feed on the nectar of flowering plants, such as Bomarea, Cavendishia, Fuchsia, Macleania, Mutisia and Palicourea, but also hunt some insects and other small arthropods.

Breeding:
These birds are polygynous, with males mating with multiple females and having no further part in the breeding process. Each female builds the nest alone, where she lays 2 white eggs. She incubates the eggs alone for 16-19 days and then raises the chicks alone until fledging. There is no information regarding the length of the fledgling period.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large but patchy breeding range. The global population size has not been quantified, but the golden-bellied starfrontlet is described as uncommon. The population is suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss caused by illegal roads and settlements and illegal mineral exploitation.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Bali starling

Leucopsar rothschildi

(Photo from Forum Iranvij)

Common name:
Bali starling (en); estorninho-de-Bali (pt); étourneau de Rothschild (fr); estornino de Bali (es); Balistar (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sturnidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the Indonesian island of Bali, where it is now confined to the West Bali National Park. There is also an introduced population in the nearby Nusa Penida Island.

Size:
These birds are 25 cm long and weigh 85-90 g.

Habitat:
The Bali starling breeds in fire-induced open scrublands, tree and palm savannas and adjacent closed-canopy monsoon forest. In the non-breeding season they disperse into open forest edge and flooded savanna woodland. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 175 m.

Diet:
They feed are omnivorous, eating various seeds, fruits up to the size of figs and papayas, insects such as ants, termites, dragonflies and grasshoppers, worms and occasionally small reptiles. They are also known to consume nectar.

Breeding:
Bali starlings are monogamous and form long-term pair bonds. They breed in January-April and nest in abandoned woodpecker nests or natural tree holes, lined with dry twigs. The nest is usually 4-10 m above the ground. The female lays 2-3 pale blue eggs, which she mostly incubates alone for 12-15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents, but usually only one survives until fledging. there is no information on the length of the fledgling period, but parents continue to feed the chicks for up to 7 weeks afterwards.

Conservation:
IUCN status - CR (Critically Endangered)
This species has a very small breeding range and a global population is possibly below 50 individuals. The wild population has been maintained only by release of captive birds, so is essentially gradually declining. However, signs from the reintroduced colony on Nusa Penida and West Bali National Park are promising, with both populations breeding and apparently increasing. This species was virtually lead to extinction by unsustainable levels of trapping for the international cage bird trade and even within the national park there were cases of armed men stilling birds from the captive breeding programme, because they can be worth up to US $2.000. Due to their very low population, other threats may include genetic erosion, interspecific competition, natural predation and disease. The species is protected by law and the only thing keeping it from extinction in the wild is the reintroduction of captive bred birds both in its natural range and in the nearby Nusa Penida Island.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Jamaican blackbird

Nesopsar nigerrimus

Photo by Jaremy Gatten (Flickr)


Common name:
Jamaican blackbird (en); iratauá-da-Jamaica (pt); carouge de Jamaïque (fr); turpial de Jamaica (es); bromelienstärling (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Icteridae

Range:
This species is endemic to Jamaica, being found in Cockpit Country, the central hills the Blue and John Crow Mountains.

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


Habitat:
The Jamaican blackbird is found in mountain rainforests, including elfin and limestone forests and forest edges, favouring areas with heavy epiphytic growth of bromeliads or Phyllogonium moss. They are present at altitudes of 500-2.200 m.

Diet: 
They forage among epiphytes, moss-covered trunks and dead leaves, picking various insects.

Breeding:
Jamaican blackbirds are monogamous and breed in May-August. The nest is a cup made of plant material and placed against the trunk of a tree in the lower canopy. The female lays 2 eggs, which she incubates alone for bout 14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents, but there is no information on the length of the fledgling period.

Conservation:
IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a relatively small and fragmented breeding range. The global population is estimated at just 1.500-7.000 individuals and is likely to be slowly decreasing as a result of habitat loss. Habitat loss has been caused primarily by afforestation, mainly with Caribbean pine Pinus caribaea, coffee plantations, removal of trees for charcoal-burning, deliberate fires, small-scale farming and development, and ongoing habitat degradation leds to an increase in parasitism by shiny cowbird Molothrus bonariensis. The removal of mature trees reduces the availability of large tank bromeliads in which it forages. However, the most significant current threat is bauxite mining in its stronghold in Cockpit Country.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Killdeer

Charadrius vociferus

Photo by Harold Stiver (Nature Notes)

Common name:
killdeer (en); borrelho-de-coleira-dupla (pt); pluvier kildir (fr); chorlitejo colirrojo (es); keilschwanz-regenpfeifer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Charadriidae

Range:
This American species is found from Canada as far north as the Northwest Territories, south to northern Colombia and north-western Venezuela and also along the Pacific coasts of Ecuador and Peru. They are also present in the Caribbean.

Size:
These birds are 20-28 cm long and have a wingspan of 46-48 cm. They weigh 75-130 g.

Habitat:The killdeer is mostly found in inland marshes and swamps, but also uses sandbars, mudflats, pastures, rocky intertidal areas, rivers and streams, open savannas, taiga and deciduous forests and less commonly saltmarshes. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.400 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on invertebrates such as earthworms, snails, grasshoppers, beetles and aquatic insect larvae, but are also know to take seeds from agricultural fields, frogs and dead fishes.

Breeding:
Killdeers are monogamous and can nest all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a simple scrape on open ground sometimes ornamented with rocks, shells, sticks ans trash. The female lays 4-6 buff-coloured eggs with blackish-brown markings, which are incubated by both parents for 24-28 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching but remain with their parents until they are able to fly, 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 1 million individuals. The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations are stable or have unknown trends. The population is North America had a stable trend over the last 4 decades.

Monday, 19 May 2014

White monjita

Xolmis irupero

Photo by Cláudio Timm (Wikipedia)

Common name:
white monjita (en); noivinha-branca (pt); pépoaza irupéro (fr); monjita blanca (es); weißnonnentyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found in eastern Brazil, from Ceará to Espírito Santo, and from Mato Grosso do Sul and Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil,  to Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and northern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 17-18 cm long.

Habitat:
The white monjita is mostly found in dry savannas and grasslands, also using dry scrublands, pastures, marshes and lakes, and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.300 m.

Diet:
They hunt flying insects by sallying out from a perch.

Breeding:
White monjitas breed in August-January. They nest in a large cup made of twigs and grass, lined with feather and hair, and placed in a tree hollow or in an abandoned nest of rufous hornero Furnarius rufus, about 3 m above the ground. The female lays 3-4 white eggs with fine reddish and grey markings, which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 17 days after hatching.

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

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Red-headed weaver

Anaplectes rubriceps

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
red-headed weaver (en); tecelão-de-cabeça-vermelha (pt); anaplecte écarlate (fr); tejedor cabecirrojo (es); scharlachweber (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Ploceidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan African, being found along the Sahel belt from Senegal to Sudan, and from Ethiopia south to north-eastern South Africa and west to Angola and northern Namibia.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh about 20 g.

Habitat:
The red-headed weaver is mostly found in dry savannas and woodlands, but also uses moist tropical forests, scrublands and rural gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects and spiders, but also take seeds and fruits.

Breeding:
Red-headed weavers are monogamous or some times polygynous. They breed in July-February. The male builds the nest alone, consisting of an upside-down bottle-shaped structure made of leaf midribs, twigs, grass stems, broad leaves and tendrils. Once it is approved by the female she lines the interior with bark fibres, feathers, dry grass or leaves. It is typically strung from a few twigs beneath the canopy of a tree, or on man-made objects such as windmill vanes, telephone wires and edge of thatched roof. It is often located near the nests of other weavers or even raptors. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which she incubates alone for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 17 days after hatching.

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

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Helmeted curassow

Pauxi pauxi

Photo by Greg Hume (World Bird Info)

Common name:
helmeted curassow (en); mutum-de-capacete (pt); hocco à pierre (fr); paují de yelmo (es); helmhokko (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galliformes
Family Cracidae

Range:
This species is found in western Venezuela and northern Colombia. The subspecies P. p. pauxi is found from the Cordillera de la Costa west to the Cordillera de Mérida, in Venezuela, on the north-eastern slopes of the East Andes in Colombia and adjacent Venezuela, and in three mountain ranges in Falcón, Venezuela. The subspecies P. p. gilliardi is only found in Sierra de Perijá along the Colombian-Venezuelan border.

Size:
These birds are 80-100 cm long and weigh 2,5-3,6 kg

Habitat:
The helmeted curassow is only found in sub-tropical cloud forests with dense undergrowth, usually favouring humid gorges an avoiding forest edges. They are present at altitudes of 500-2.200 m.

Diet:
They forage on the forest floor, taking fallen fruits, seeds, tender leaves, buds, and also small rodents, reptiles and insects.

Breeding:
Helmeted curassows breed in March-May. Males attract females by offering them food held in its beak. The nest is placed in a tree, 5-15 m above the ground, where the female lays 2 cream-coloured eggs. The eggs are incubated for about 30 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching, but are fed by both parents until they learn to pick food from the ground.

Conservation:
IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a relatively large, but fragmented breeding range. The global population is estimated at 1.000-2.500 individuals, and is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate due to habitat loss and hunting. Deforestation is a problem in both Venezuela and Colombia, mostly for cattle ranching and narcotics cultivation, while hunting for food is probably increasing as infrastructure development makes some areas more accessible. The helmeted curassow's range is protected by several nature reserves, but this has not averted threats. Captive breeding programmes are underway in Colombia and in the United States.

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)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

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

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

Habitat:
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.

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

Breeding:
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.

Conservation:
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.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Noisy friarbird

Philemon corniculatus

Photo by David McKay (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
noisy friarbird (en); frade-gritador (pt); polochion criard (fr); filemón gritón (es); lärmlederkopf (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is found in eastern Australia, from north-eastern Queensland to Victoria, and also in southern New Guinea.

Size:
These birds are 31-36 cm long and weigh about 120 g.

Habitat:
The noisy friarbird is mostly found in dry forests and Eucalyptus woodlands, but alses a wide range of other habitats such as scrublands, moist forests, mangroves, arable land, rural gardens and even urban areas.

Diet:
They feed on nectar, fruits, insects and other invertebrates, occasionally also taking bird eggs and nestlings.

Breeding:
The noisy friarbird breeds in July-March. They are monogamous and pair bonds can last several years. The nest is built by the female, consisting of a large cup made of bark and grass, bound with spider webs. It is suspended from a branch, 1-3 m above the ground. There she lays 2-4 buff to pale pink eggs with brown or purplish splotches, which she incubates alone for 18 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 3 weeks after hatching.

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

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Yellow-billed stork

Mycteria ibis

Photo by Arthur Morris (Birds as Art)

Common name:
yellow-billed stork (en); cegonha-de-bico-amarelo (pt); tantale ibis (fr); tántalo africano (es); nimmersatt (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Ciconiiformes
Family Ciconiidae

Range:
This species is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, from southern Mauritania and Mali to Sudan and Ethiopia and south to Namibia, Botswana and eastern South Africa. It is also found in north-western Madagascar.

Size:
These birds are 90-105 cm long and have a wingspan of 150-165 cm. They weigh 1,9-2,3 g.

Habitat:
The yellow-billed stork is shallow wetlands with sandbanks or trees for roosting, including swamps, the margins or river, lakes and lagoons, marshes, flooded grasslands, alkaline lakes, reservoirs, rice fields, and occasionally in estuaries, mudflats and beaches.

Diet:
They hunt small aquatic animals, including fishes, frogs, aquatic insects, worms, crustaceans and more rarely small mammals and birds.

Breeding:
Yellow-billed storks are monogamous and nest in colonies of 10-50 pairs, often alongside ibises, herons, spoonbills, other storks and cormorants. The nest is built by both sexes and consists of a large platform made of sticks and lined with fine leaves, grasses and reeds. It is placed on top of a tree, often an Acacia, water fig Ficus verruculosa or baobab Adansonia digitata, 3-7 m above the ground or water. The female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 30 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 55-60 days after hatching, becoming fully independent 1 month later.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range. Although there is no reliable information on population sizes and trends, overall the yellow-billed stork is believed to be declining due to wetland disturbance and destruction.

Grey-headed quail-dove

Geotrygon caniceps

(Photo from Bird Forum)

Common name:
grey-headed quail-dove (en); juriti-de-cabeça-cinzenta (pt); colombe de Gundlach (fr); camao (es); Gundlachtaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is found in Cuba and the Dominican Republic. In Cuba it may still occur in patches throughout the country, but mainly on the Zapata Peninsula and Sierra del Rosario. In the Dominican Republic they occur on the Cordillera Central, Sierra de Baoruco and Sierra de Neiba. It possibly also occurred in Haiti until the early 20th century, but was extirpated by extensive habitat destruction.

Size:
These birds are 26-30 cm long and weigh 210 g.

Habitat:
The grey-headed quail-dove is mostly found in dry, limestone-based forests, but also uses rainforests, swamp forests and coffee plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.


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

Breeding:
These birds are monogamous and may pair for life. They breed in January-August, nesting in a loose bowl made of leaves, placed on the ground among the forest undergrowth. There the female lays 1-2 beige-coloured eggs which are incubated for about 13 days. The chicks fledge about 2 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a relatively large but patchy breeding range. The global population is estimated at 1.500-7.000 individuals and is suspected to be declining rapidly, owing to habitat loss and hunting pressure. Habitat destruction as nearly wiped out this species on the Cordillera Central and Sierra de Neiba, mainly through the expansion of cacao, coffee and tobacco production. Further threats include dry-season burning, drainage, agricultural expansion and introduced predators, as well as heavy hunting in Cuba for human consumption. Conservation action include a hunting ban in the Dominican republic since the 1970s and a number of nature reserves in both Cuba and the Dominican Republic, although few are afforded strict protection.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Bar-winged flycatcher-shrike

Hemipus picatus

Photo by Mapalagama Premasiri (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
bar-winged flycatcher-shrike (en); largarteiro-de-asa-listada (pt); échenilleur gobemouche (fr); oruguero alibarrado (es); elsterraupenschmätzer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Campephagidae

Range:
This species is found from India and Nepal to southern China, and through Indochina into the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo.

Size:
These birds are 15 cm long and weigh 9-10 g.

Habitat:
The bar-winged flycatcher-shrike is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using forest edges, moist scrublands, rural gardens and plantations.

Diet:
They hunt insects by gleaning the foliage and sallying out from a perch.

Breeding:
These birds breed in February-August. The nest is a neat cup made of lichens and spider webs, and lined with fine grasses and plant fibres. It is placed in the horizontal surface of a dead or leafless branch. There the female lays 2-3 pale greenish-white eggs with black and grey blotches. The eggs are incubated by both sexes but there is no information on 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 locally common in the Indian subcontinent, common in Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka; locally common in South-East Asia and common in China. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.