Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Northern goshawk

Accipiter gentilis

Photo by Johan Stenlund (PBase)

Common name:
northern goshawk (en); açor (pt); autour des palombes (fr); azor común (es); habicht (de);

Taxonomy:
Order Falconiformes
Family Accipitridae

Range:
This species is widely distributed in Eurasia and North America. It is found throughout continental Europe and in Great Britain, and also in northern Morocco, in Turkey and the Caucasus, throughout most of Russia and into northern Kazakhstan and northern Mongolia, and also in Japan, central and south-western China and marginally into northern India and northern Myanmar. In North America the northern goshawk is found throughout most of Alaska and Canada, and also in the United States as far south as California, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia, and in north-western Mexico.

Size:
These birds are 46-63 cm long and have a wingspan of 98-115. Females tend to be larger thn males, weighing 800-2.200 g while males weigh 500-1.100 g.

Habitat:
The northern goshawk is mostly found in temperate forests, particularly coniferous, but also deciduous and mixed forests. They also use boreal forests, tundra grasslands and parks with tall trees within urban areas. This species is present from sea level up to an altitude of 3.400 m.

Diet:
They mainly hunt small and medium sized birds and mammals, up to the size of a pigeon, grouse or rabbit, but also take large invertebrates and reptiles.

Breeding:
Northern goshawks breed in April-June. They are monogamous and mate for life, and both sexes help build the nest. The nest is a large structure made of sticks and twigs, and lined with leafy green twigs, conifer needles and pieces of bark. It is placed in a tree, most often a mature conifer 15-20 m above the ground. There the female lays 2-4 bluish-white eggs, which she mostly incubates alone for 28-38 days. The chicks are mostly fed by the male and fledge 34-46 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 70-90 days later. They reach sexual maturity at 1 year of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated to be above 500.000 individuals. The northern goshawk suffered significant declines during the 19th and early 20th century due to persecution and deforestation, but more recently the population trend appears to be stable.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Collared palm-thrush

Cichladusa arquata

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
collared palm-thrush (en); tordo-das-palmeiras-de-colar (pt); cichladuse à collier (fr); zorzal-palmero acollarado (es); morgenrötel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

Range:
This species is found from south-eastern D.R. Congo, northern Tanzania and south-eastern Kenya, through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and into north-eastern South Africa, northern Botswana and south-eastern Angola.

Size:
These birds are 17-18 cm long and weigh 28-38 g.

Habitat:
The collared palm-thrush is mostly found in dry tropical forests and scrublands with palm trees, such as such as Pheonix, Borassus and Hyphaene, most often near water. They also use dry savannas, plantations and rural gardens.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects and other arthropods, such as bugs, beetles, grasshoppers, cockroaches, earwigs, termites, ants and centipedes. They also take small frogs.

Breeding:
Collared palm-thrushes breed in October-May. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of
a semi-circular or truncated cone-shaped structure, made of mud and grass roots, and lined with finer grass or fibres stripped from palm leaves. It is typically attached to a hanging palm leaf, or at the point where the palm frond connects to the trunk, or sometimes on dragon trees Dracaena or even on buildings. The female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 20 days after hatching.


Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as rather local and confined to its specific habitat, although often common within that habitat. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Red-tailed black-cockatoo

Calyptorhynchus banksii

Photo by Peter Strauss (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
red-tailed black-cockatoo (en);cacatua-negra-de-cauda-vermelha (pt); cacatoès banksien (fr); cacatúa colirroja (es); Banks-rabenkakadu (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Cacatuidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia. They are found in northern Australia from northern Western Australia to northern New South Wales, in south-western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia, and in south-western Western Australia.

Size:
These birds are 50-65 cm long and weigh 570-920 g.

Habitat:
The red-tailed balck-cockatoo is found in Eucalyptus woodlands, moist subtropical forests, grasslands and scrublands with scattered trees and arable land.

Diet:
They forage both in the tree canopy and on the ground, mainly feeding on seeds, but also taking fruits, nuts, flowers, bulbs and insects.

Breeding:
Red-tailed black-cockatoos breed in March-October. They are monogamous and mate for life, and if one of the birds disappears, the other may not mate again. The nest in a tree hollow, 8-15 m above the ground, which is lined with chewed and decayed wood. There the female lays 1-2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 28-30 days. Only 1 chick will be raised, being fed by both parents and fledging 11-14 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated to be above 100.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction, but it is not threatened at present.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Cape rock-thrush

Monticola rupestris

Photo by Derek Keats (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Cape rock-thrush (en); melro-das-rochas-do-Cabo (pt); monticole rocar (fr); roquero de El Cabo (es); klippenrötel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

Range:
This species is found in southern and eastern South Africa, including Lesotho and Swaziland, and marginally into south-eastern Botswana and south-western Mozambique.

Size:
These birds are 21-22 cm long and weigh 60-64 g.

Habitat:
The Cape rock-thrush is mostly found in cliffs, rocky valleys, boulder-strewn hillsides and scree slopes, especially with scattered trees, scrubs and succulents such as Aloe sp. and Euphorbia sp. They also use dry grasslands and scrublands, and rural gardens.

Diet:They feed mainly on arthropods, such as cockroaches, termites, beetles, ants, centipedes, millipedes and spiders, fruits and seeds. They are also known to take molluscs, frogs, skinks and the nectar of Aloe ferox.


Breeding:Cape rock-thrushes breed in September-February. They are monogamous, solitary nesters, and the nest is a messy platform built of twigs, grass, roots and soil, with a cup-shaped cavity set into the top. It is typically placed in a rock crevice or on the ledge of a cliff or building. There the female lays 2-4 eggs which she incubates alone for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 16 days after hatching, becoming fully independent about 10 days later.

Conservation:

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as locally common in South Africa and Swaziland, although also locally uncommon in South Africa and uncommon in Lesotho. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Friday, 26 September 2014

African scops-owl

Otus senegalensis

Photo by Ruslou Koorts (Flickr)

Common name:
African scops-owl (en); mocho-d'orelhas-africano (pt); petit-duc africain (fr); autillo africano (es); Afrika-zwergohreule (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, from southern Mauritania east to Eritrea and south to Namibia, Botswana, and northern and eastern South Africa. They are absent from the tropical forests of the Congo river basin.

Size:
These tiny owls are 15-19 cm long and have a wingspan of 40-45 cm. They weigh 45-120 g.

Habitat:
The African scops-owl is found in open savannas, dry tropical forests, scrublands, rural gardens and urban parks.

Diet:
They hunt by sallying out from a perch, taking the prey either from the ground or in flight. They mainly hunt insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, mantids, moths, crickets and cockroaches, but also take spiders, scorpions and small vertebrates such as rodents, frogs, geckos and small birds.

Breeding:
African scops-owls can breed all year round, usually starting after the local rainy season. They are monogamous and nest in a tree hole, often an old woodpecker nest. The female lays 2-6 white eggs which she incubates alone for 24-27 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 3-4 weeks after hatching, but continue to receive food from their parents for another 2 months.

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

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Black-capped white-eye

Zosterops atricapilla

Photo by Lip Kee Yap (Wikipedia)

Common name:
black-capped white-eye (en); olho-branco-de-barrete-preto (pt); zostérops à calotte noire (fr); anteojitos capirotado (es); schwarzstirn-brillenvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Zosteropidae

Range:
This species is found along the mountains of western Sumatra and in central and north-eastern Borneo, both in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Size:
These birds are 9,5-10 cm long and weigh 8,5-11 g.

Habitat:
The black-capped white-eye is mostly found in mountain rainforests, also using rainforests at lower altitudes and high-altitude grasslands. They are present at altitudes of 1.500-3.000 m, occasionally coming down to just 700 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on adult and larval insects, but also take fruits, berries and nectar.

Breeding:
These birds possibly breed in April-June. The nest is a small cup placed in a tree, where the female lays 2-4 pale blue eggs. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as locally very common on high mountain tops in Sumatra. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Rufous-backed Inca-finch

Incaspiza personata

Photo by Jacques Erard (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
rufous-backed Inca-finch (en); escrevedeira-inca-de-dorso-ruivo (pt); chipiu costumé (fr); semillero inca de lomo rufo (es); schwarzstirnammer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This species is endemic to north-western Peru, being found from southern Cajamarca south to western Huanaco.

Size:
These birds are 16,5-18 cm long and weigh 30-33 g.

Habitat:
The rufous-backed Inca-finch is found in dry, high-altitude scrublands with cacti, agave and Puya raimondii. They occur at altitudes of 1.800-3.000 m, and occasionally up to 4.000 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, alone or in pairs, but there is no available information on diet.

Breeding:
These birds breed in March-June. There is no further information on the reproduction of this species.

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

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Common poorwill

Phalaenoptilus nuttallii

Photo by Don Doolittle (Debi Shearwater's Journeys)

Common name:
common poorwill (en); noitibó-de-Nuttall (pt); engoulevent de Nuttall (fr); chotacabras pachacua (es); winternachtschwalbe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Caprimulgidae
Family Caprimulgidae

Range:
This species is found in western North America, from southern British Columbia and southern Saskatchewan in Canada, across the western United States and into north-western Mexico as far south as San Luis Potosí. The more northern population migrate south to winter along the southern parts of their range.

Size:
These birds are 18-21 cm long and weigh 35-55 g.

Habitat:
The common poorwill is found in arid and semi-arid areas, particularly in dry scrublands, but also in dry grasslands, rocky areas and hot deserts. To a lesser extent they can also use open deciduous and coniferous forests. This species is present at altitudes of 500-1.000 m.


Diet:
They hunt during the nigth taking insects on the wing, particularly beetles and moths. They also take cicadas, bugs, grasshoppers, locusts, flying ants and flies.

Breeding:
Common poorwills are monogamous and breed in March-September, varying among different parts of their range. The female lays 2 white to buff eggs, which are layed on the ground, without any type of nest structure, sometimes sheltered by a nearby rock, scrub or fallen tree. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 20-21 days. The chicks fledge 20-22 days after hatching. Each pair usually raises 2 broods per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although there are no available population estimates, the global population is believed to be large but may be somewhat fragmented. The common poorwill has undergone a small increase over the last 4 decades, possibly benefiting from human activities such as cattle grazing or logging that create open habitats.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Rail-babbler

Eupetes macrocerus

(Photo from Astronomy to Zoology)

Common name:
rail-babbler (en); tordo-de-cauda-comprida (pt); eupète à longue queue (fr); zordala colilarga (es); rallenflöter (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Cinclosomatidae

Range:
This species has two disjunct subspecies, E.m. macrocerus is found in southern Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra, while E.m. borneensis is only found in the island of Borneo.

Size:
These birds are 28-30 cm long and weigh 66-72 g.

Habitat:
The rail-babbler is mostly found in tall, primary rainforests, also using swamp forests, logged forests with closed canopy and heath forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.060 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, taking insects such as cicadas and beetles, as well as spiders.

Breeding:
Rail-babblers breed in January-June. The nest is a shallow cup made of plant fibres, placed on the forest floor on top of accumulated dead leaves. There the female lays 2 eggs. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as scarce to fairly common over much of its range, although locally numerous. Although precise data on population trends are lacking, a moderately rapid and on-going decline is likely to be occurring as a result of habitat loss and degradation across its range.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Olive woodpecker

Dendropicos griseocephalus

Photo by Graham Searll (Bird Photos)

Common name:
olive woodpecker (en); pica-pau-de-cabeça-cinzenta (pt); pic olive (fr); pito oliváceo (es); goldrückenspecht (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

Range:
This species occurs in two disjunct areas in Africa. They are found from Angola, east through southern D.R. Congo and Zambia, and into Tanzania and southern Uganda. Also from southern Mozambique and southern Zimbabwe to eastern and southern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 20 cm long and weigh 35-50 g.

Habitat:
The olive woodpecker is mostly found in moist tropical forests and moist scrublands, particularly along rivers and streams. They also use dry forests and dry scrublands. This species occurs at altitudes of 450-3.700 m.

Diet:
They probe and peck the branches of trees and scrubs in search of wood-boring beetle larvae and pupae, ants, moths and other insects.

Breeding:
Olive woodpeckers breed in February-November, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a hole excavated by both sexes in the trunk of a tree, where the female lays 2-3 eggs. The eggs are incubated by both sexes for 15-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 24-26 days after hatching, but only become fully independent about 3 months later.

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

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Wompoo fruit-dove

Megaloprepia magnifica

(Photo from FollowPics)

Common name:
wompoo fruit-dove (en); pombo-da-fruta-magnífico (pt); ptilope magnifique (fr); tilopo magnífico (es); langschwanz-fruchttaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is found throughout New Guina and along the north-eastern coast of Australia from Cape york in northern Queensland to Sidney in New South Wales.

Size:
These birds are 29-45 cm long and weigh 250-500 g.

Habitat:
The wompoo fruit-dove is found in tropical rainforests and adjacent wet sclerophyll forests, as well as in second growths, pastures and farmland with scattered trees. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.400 m.

Diet:
These birds are frugivorous, taking a wide range of forest fruits such as figs, fruits of cinnamon trees and palm fruits. They have been recorded taking the fruits of Arecaceae,
Vitaceae, Araliaceae, Cunoniaceae, Ebenaceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Lauraceae, Meliaceae,Moraceae, Myrtaceae, Oleaceae, Pennantiaceae, Rutaceae and Sapindaceae.

Breeding:
Wompoo fruit-doves can probably breed all year round. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a small, sturdy platform made of twigs, placed in a tree 2-10 m above the ground. There the female lays a single white egg which is incubated by both sexes for 18-21 days. The chicks fledge 2-3 weeks after hatching. Each pair raises a single chick per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be widespread and common to fairly common. The population is suspected to be in decline and became, locally extinct in the southernmost parts of its range owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation, and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Slaty-backed chat-tyrant

Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
slaty-backed chat-tyrant (en); pitajo-negro (pt); pitajo noir (fr); pitajo negro (es); schiefermantel-schmätzertyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found along the Andes mountain range, from western Venezuela south to central Bolivia.

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

Habitat:
The slaty-backed chat-tyrant is mostly found in dense vegetation within mountain rainforests, also using forests edges, second growths and areas along rivers and streams. They occur at altitudes of 1.600-3.300 m.

Diet:
They forage alone on in pairs, searching for insects among the foliage.

Breeding:
These birds can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is an open cup made of moss, lined with fern scales. It is placed on a rocky crevice, vertical rock wall or clay bank, usually adjacent or overhanging a stream, 1-5 m above the water. There the female lays 1-2 pale cream or white eggs, either unmarked or with a few cinnamon spots. The eggs are incubated for about 2 weeks and the chicks fledge 18-20 days after hatching.

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

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Eyebrowed wren-babbler

Napothera epilepidota

Photo by David Lai (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
eyebrowed wren-babbler (en); zaragateiro-pequeno-de-sobrancelha (pt); petite turdinule (fr); ratina cejuda (es); streifenbrusttimalie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

Range:
This species is found from southern China, Bangladesh and extreme north-eastern India, through Indochina and into the Indonesian islands of Java, Sumatra and Borneo.

Size:
These birds are 10-11 cm long.

Habitat:
The eyebrowed wren-babbler is found in moist tropical forests, including broadleaved evergreen forests, secondary forests, mixed dipterocarp forests and gallery forests.

Diet:
They feed on various arthropods, including ants, grasshoppers, beetles and spiders.

Breeding:
Eyebrowed wren-babblers breed in November-June, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a dome or cup made of decaying plant material, where the female lays 3-4 eggs. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as generally fairly common across its range, although rare in India and Bhutan. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Great shearwater

Ardenna gravis

Photo by Alejandro Torés (Seabirds Galicia)

Common name:
great shearwater (en); pardela-de-barrete (pt); puffin majeur (fr); pardela capirotada (es); großer sturmtaucher (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Procellariiformes
Family Procellariidae

Range:
This species only breeds on Nightingale Island, Inaccessible Island and Gough island in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago, and on Kidney Island in the Falklands. Outside the breeding season they migrate north to winter along the coasts of North America and Europe, as far north as the Arctic Circle.

Size:
These birds are 43-51 cm long and have a wingspan of 100-118 cm. They weigh 670-995 g.

Habitat:
The great shearwater is a pelagic species, spending most of their life in offshore and pelagic waters. They only come to land to breed, in remote volcanic islands, in areas of sloping ground among tussock grass or Phylica woodlands.

Diet:
They feed in groups, hunting fishes such as mackerel and capelin, squids such as Illex illecebrosus, and crustaceans, either by catching prey from the surface or by plunge-diving. They also take fish offal from fishing boats.

Breeding:
Great shearwaters breed in October-April. They are monogamous and usually nest in dense colonies of up to many thousands of pairs. They excavate a burrow in the ground, where the female lays a single white eggs which is incubated by both parents for 53-57 days. The chick is fed by both parents and fledges 85-120 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large range and the global population is estimated to be over 15 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. However, several thousand adults and  about 50.000 chicks are harvested every year in Tristan da Cunha and there is no research to validate whether these levels of harvesting are sustainable.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Banded broadbill

Eurylaimus javanicus

(Photo from Auk Anak Wayang)

Common name:
banded broadbill (en); bico-largo-de-colar (pt); eurylaime de Horsfield (fr); eurilaimo bandeado (es); purpurkopf-breitrachen (de)


Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Eurylaimidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Myanmar and Thailand to the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Java and nearby smaller islands.

Size:
These birds are 21,5-23 cm long and weigh 73-87 g.

Habitat:
The banded broadbill is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including logged forests, but also uses swamp forests, plantations, rural gardens and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects, namely grasshoppers and crickets, beetles, bugs and caterpillars.

Breeding:
Banded broadbills breed in March-December, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a very large and compact pear-shaped structure, made of twigs, roots, leaves, grass and moss, and lined with leaves. The nest is often decorated with various materials and fixed to the main branch of a tree, often near the bank of a river or stream. The female lays 2-3 white or creamy-white eggs with purple and reddish-brown speckles and spots. There is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is is reported to be relatively common in Indonesia, except in Java where it is rare, while in Indochina the species is reported to be uncommon in the southern lowlands and extremely rare further north. There is no available information on population trends.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Rufous-banded honeyeater

Conopophila albogularis

Photo by Darryl Jones (Flickr)

Common name:
rufous-banded honeyeater (en); melífago- (pt); méliphage à gorge blanche (fr); mielero pechirrufo (es); rostband-honigfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is found in northern Australia, in coastal areas of northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, and also along the southern coast of New Guinea and in some parts of northern Papua-New Guinea.

Size:
These birds are 12-14,5 cm long and weigh 9-14,5 g.

Habitat:
The rufous-banded honeyeater is found in riparian paperback Melaleuca sp. woodlands, Eucalyptus forests, mangroves, moist scrublands and savannas, and in urban parks and gardens. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 600 m.

Diet:
They are mainly insectivorous, taking various insects and spiders, but also eat nectar from Eucalyptus and paperbark flowers and eat the arils that attach wattle seeds to the pod.

Breeding:
Rufous-banded honeyeaters can breed all year round, but with peaks in September-November and January-March. The nest is a purse-shaped structure suspended from the outer twigs of a wattle or paperbark, often over water. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated for about 14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 14 days after hatching.

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

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Grey-necked wood-rail

Aramides cajaneus

Photo by Santiago Lozano (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
grey-necked wood-rail (en); saracura-três-potes (pt); râle de Cayenne (fr); cotara chiricote (es); Cayenneralle (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Gruiformes
Family Rallidae

Range:
This species is found from north-eastern Mexico, south across Central America and into South America where it is found east of the Andes as far south as northern Argentina and Uruguay.

Size:
These birds are 33-40 cm long and weigh 350-470 g.

Habitat:
The grey-necked wood-rail is mostly found in swamp forests and marshes, also using moist tropical forests, mangroves and forests rivers. This species occurs from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They are omnivorous, feeding on crabs, snails and other molluscs, insects such as flies, cockroaches and locusts, frogs, water snakes and the eggs and juveniles of turtles, but also on seeds and grains, fleshy berries and palm fruits.

Breeding:
Grey-necked wood-rails breed in January-September, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a bulky mass of dead leaves and twigs, placed either on the ground among reeds or up to 3 m above the ground in a a thicket or vine tangle. The female lays 2-7 dull white to beige eggs with rufous and pale lilac blotches and spots. The eggs are incubated by both parents for about 20 days. The chicks leave the nest within a few days of hatching, but the parents will bring them food and protect them for about 8 weeks.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is currently estiated at 5-50 million individuals. The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends and may be adversely affected by habitat destruction.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Tiger shrike

Lanius tigrinus

(Photo from Hunan Forestry)

Common name:
tiger shrike (en); picanço-tigre (pt); pie-grièche tigrine (fr); alcaudón tigre (es); tigerwürger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Laniidae

Range:
This species breeds in eastern China from Guizhou, Hunan and Zhejiang north to Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang, in Korea, in the Japanese islands of Honshu and Kyushu and marginally in extreme south-eastern Russia. They migrate south to winter from southern China and Myanmar south to Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are 17-19 cm long. Males tend to be smaller than females, weighing 27-29 g while females weigh 29-37 g.

Habitat:
The tiger shrike breeds mainly in temperate, deciduous and mixed forests with thick understorey, also using scrublands, arable land and both rural and urban gardens. Outside the breeding season they use moist tropical forests, mangroves, arable land and rural gardens. This species is present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

Diet:
They hunt by sallying out from a perch, mainly taking insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, bugs, butterflies and moths. They are als known to take other arthropods, frogs, lizards and even small birds.

Breeding:Tiger shrikes breed in May-July. They are monogamous and both sexes help build the nest, a cup made of stems, twigs, roots and other vegetation, and lined with grasses. The nest is placed on a tree branch, or sometimes on a scrub, 0,5-5 m above the ground. The female lays 3-6 whitish, pinkish or blue-green eggs with dark markings, which she incubates alone for 13-16 days. The chicks fledge 13-15 days after hatching, but only become fully independent about 2 weeks later. Each pair raises a single brood per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status -LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is is described as rare in China and Russia, relatively common in Korea, uncommon in Japan and locally uncommon to common throughout its non-breeding range. The population is estimated to be declining on the basis of marked declines in Russia and Japan from the 1960s to the 1990s at least.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Red-faced spinetail

Cranioleuca erythrops

Photo by Eduardo Letort (PBase)

Common name:
red-faced spinetail (en); arredio-de-faces-vermelhas (pt); synallaxe à face rouge (fr); curutié carirrojo (es); rotgesicht-baumschlüpfer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

Range:
This species occurs in three disjunct subspecies. C.e. rufigenis is found in the mountains of Costa Rica and western Panama, C.e. griseigularis is found in extreme eastern Panama and along the Andes of western and central Colombia, and C.e. erythrops is found in the Andes of western Ecuador.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 13-20 g.

Habitat:
The red-faced spinetail is mostly found in moist, mountain rainforests, but also use rainforests at lower altitudes, tall second growths and tropical deciduous forests. They occur at altitudes of 150-2.300 m.

Diet:They often join mixed-species feeding flocks, hunting among tree branches, bark and epiphytes in search of invertebrates such as beetles, grasshoppers, roaches, caterpillars, spiders. They are also known to take the protein corpuscles produced by Cecropia sp.

Breeding:
Red-faced spinetails breed in March-July. The nest is a bulky ball, loosely made of grass, moss and pieces of epiphytes, with an entrance tunnel at the bottom, and placed hanging near the end of a branch, 5-12 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 eggs. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

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

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Jack snipe

Lymnocryptes mininus

Photo by Dûrzan Cîrano (Wikipedia)

Common name:
jack snipe (en); narceja-galega (pt); bécassine sourde (fr); agachadiza chica (es); zwergschnepfe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Scolopacidae

Range:
This species breeds in Scandinavia, northern Belarus and in northern Russia as far east as Cherskly. They migrate south to winter in western Europe, around the Mediterranean, in sub-Saharan Africa as far south as Kenya, northern D.R. Congo and southern Cameroon, and also in the Arabian Peninsula, India and south-eastern Asia.

Size:
These birds are 17-20 cm long and have a wingspan of 30-42 cm. They weigh 30-85 g.

Habitat:
The jack snipe breeds in open marshes, floodplains and bogs, in forest tundra and northern taiga. Outside the breeding season they use both fresh water and brackish wetlands, favouring a mosaics of moist and waterlogged mudflats with soft, silty mud and dense of tussocks vegetation, namely in swamps, fens, grassy marshes, the margins of rivers and streams, overgrown flood-lands, sewage farms, rice fields, flooded arable fields, damp pastures and wet meadows.

Diet:They feed on adult and larval insects, annelids, small freshwater and terrestrial gastropods and sometimes seeds.
Breeding:Jack snipes breed in May-September and can be monogamous, polyandrous or polygynous. They nest in a scrape on a marshy sedge bed, lined with sedge stems and leaves. The female lays 4 buff eggs with dark brown markings, which she incubates alone for 18-24 days. The chicks are precocial, leaving the nest soon after hatching. The male and female split brood and care for each group independently.

Conservation:
IUCN status -LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated to be over 1 million individuals. The overall population trend is stable, although some populations have unknown trends.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Black-naped oriole

Oriolus chinensis

Photo by Nick Dean (Flickr)

Common name:
black-naped oriole (en); papa-figos-de-nuca-preta (pt); loriot de Chine (fr); oropéndola china (es); schwarznackenpirol (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Oriolidae

Range:
This species is found throughout eastern China, marginally into south-eastern Russia, in Korea, and also through the Philippines into Indonesia and Singapore. Population breeding in China, Russia and Korea migrate south and south-west to winter in Indochina and in north-eastern and western India.

Size:
These birds are 23-28 cm long and weigh 65-100 g.

Habitat:
The black-naped oriole is mostly found in forests, particularly in moist tropical forests, but also in temperate forests and mangroves, also using second growths, plantations and both rural and urban gardens.

Diet:
They feed on various fruits and berries, namely Ficus and Trema orientalis, but also take insects, the eggs and fledglings of small birds and the nectar if large flowers such as Salmalia and Erythrina.

Breeding:
Black-naped orioles breed in January-June. The nest is a deep cup made of bark, small twigs, grass and roots. It is placed in a fork near the end of a tree branch, often near the nest of a black drongo Dicrurus macrocercus. There the female lays 2-3 bluish-white eggs with brown spots, which she incubtes alone for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 14-15 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common, with breeding populations estimated in the range of 10.000-100.000 pairs in both China, Russia and Korea. The black-naped has expanded in range over the 20th century, namely in Singapore and Indonesia.