Sunday, 30 November 2014

Greater wagtail-tyrant

Stigmatura budytoides

Photo by Paul Jones (Flickr)

Common name:
greater wagtail-tyrant (en); alegrinho-balança-rabo (pt); calandrite bergeronnette (fr); rabicano mayor (es); südlicher stelzentachurityrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This South American species occurs in two disjunct populations. The subspecies S.b. gracilis is found in eastern Brazil, in northern Bahia, Pernambuco and southern Piauí. The other three subspecies, S.b. budytoides, S.b. inzonata and S.b. flavocinerea, are found from central Bolivia and western Paraguay south to central Argentina as far south as Rio Negro.

Size:
These birds are 13-16 cm long and weigh 8,5-13 g.

Habitat:
The greater wagtail-tyrant is mostly found in dry scrublands, also using high-altitude scrublands, moist savannas and dry gallery forests. They are mainly present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m, but can occur up to an altitude of 2.700 m.

Diet:
They forage among the foliage and occasionally on the ground, taking various insects.

Breeding:
In Argentina, these birds breed in October-February. The nest is an open cup made of plant fibres and rootlets, bonded with spiderwebs, usually placed in a small tree or scrub 1–2 m above the ground. There the female lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated for 14-15 days. The chicks fledge 11-13 days after hatching.

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

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Taveta golden weaver

Ploceus castaneiceps

Photo by Artur Bujanowicz (Bird Watching)

Common name:
Taveta golden weaver (en); tecelão-dourado-de-cabeça-castanha (pt); tisserin de Taveta (fr); tejedor Taveta (es); genickbandweber (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Ploceidae

Range:
This species is found in south-eastern Kenya and north-eastern Tanzania.

Size:
These birds are 14 cm long and weigh 18-24 g.

Habitat:
The Taveta golden weaver breeds in marshes and swamps, using nearby dry savannas, dry scrublands and dry tropical forests during the rest of the year.

Diet:
They feed mainly on grass seeds, also taking agricultural crops such as maize, and some insects such as ants.

Breeding:
These birds breed in September-May. They are believed to be polygynous and nest in large colonies. Each nest is an oval structure woven by the male with grasses and attached to two or more grass stems or reeds. The female lays 2-3 glossy, dark live-green eggs, which are incubated for 13 days. The chicks fledge about 14 days after hatching.

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

Friday, 28 November 2014

Pacific imperial-pigeon

Ducula pacifica

(Photo from Flickr)

Common name:
Pacific imperial-pigeon (en); pombo-imperial-do-Pacífico (pt); carpophage pacifique (fr); dúcula del Pacífico (es); Tongafruchttaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is found in small islands in the Pacific Ocena, from the islands of north-eastern New Guinea, through the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji, and into Tonga, American Samoa and the Cook Islands.

Size:
These birds are 36-41 cm long and weigh 370-420 g.

Habitat:
The Pacific imperial-pigeon is found in moist tropical forests and in scrublands, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on fruits, but also take some leaves and flowers.

Breeding:
These birds breed in January-September. The nest is an untidy platform of twigs, with no lining, concealed in the tree canopy 8-25 m above the ground. There the female lays a single white egg, which is incubated for 19-21 days. The chick fledges about 20 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and is described as common in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, common to abundant in Vanuatu, uncommon in Tokelau, Niue and American Samoa, rare on New Caledonia and locally common in the Cook Islands. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Chestnut-capped flycatcher

Erythrocercus mccallii

Photo by Chris Perkins (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
chestnut-capped flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-de-barrete-vermelho (pt); érythrocerque à tête rousse (fr); monarca capirrufo (es); rotkappen-spreizschwanz (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

Range:
This species is found from Guinea and southern Mali, along the Gulf of Guinea coast and into Gabon, Congo, northern D.R. Congo and marginally into western Uganda and northern Angola.

Size:
These birds are 10 cm long and weigh 6-8 g.

Habitat:
The chestnut-capped flycatcher is mostly found in lowland, primary rainforests, also using swamp forests, mountain rainforests, mature secondary forests, plantations and arable land.

Diet:
They feed mainly on small insects, such as ants, bees, beetles, termites and grasshoppers.

Breeding:
These birds can possibly breed all year round. There is no further information on the reproduction of this species.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be uncommon to abundant. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Black-backed puffback

Dryoscopus cubla

Photo by Daniel Loumeau (Flickr)

Common name:
black-backed puffback (en); picanço-de-almofadinha (pt); cubla boule-de-neige (fr); obispillo de lomo negro (es); schneeballwürger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Malaconotidae

Range:
This African species is found from southern Kenya, central D.R. Congo and northern Angola, south to northern Namibia, northern and eastern Botswana, and eastern South Africa down to the Eastern Cape.

Size:
These birds are 16-18 cm long and weigh 19-36 g.

Habitat:
The black-backed puffback is mostly found in dry savannas, dry tropical forests and dry scrublands, also using riverine forests, the edges of moist tropical forests, alien Eucalyptus plantations and rural gardens.

Diet:
They forage on the upper canopy, mainly gleaning insects from the foliage, such as termites alates, beetles, ants and caterpillars, but also take fruits of Salvadora and Acacia buds.

Breeding:Black-backed puffbacks can breed all year round. The nest is built by the female, while the male helps collect material, consisting of a tidy, compact cup made of grass, roots and bark bound together with spider webs and lined with fine grass. It is often decorated with lichen and bark, and is bound to a fork in a tree branch. The female lays 2-3 white eggs with reddish-brown spots, which she mostly incubates alone for 13 days, while the male brings her food. The female feeds the chicks, with the male helping collect the food, and they fledge about 18 days after hatching. The young only become fully independent 3 weeks after fledging and remain in the parental territory until the next breeding season.

Conservation:IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be frequent to common. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat destruction.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Rosy-faced lovebird

Agapornis roseicollis

Photo by Alastair Rae (Wikipedia)

Common name:
rosy-faced lovebird (en); inseparável-de-faces-rosadas (pt); inséparable rosegorge (fr); inseparable de Namibia (es); rosenköpfchen (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

Range:
This species is found from south-western Angola, through Namibia and into north-western South Africa. There are also feral populations introduced into Puerto Rico and Arizona.

Size:
These birds are 15-18 cm long and have a wingspan of 23-28 cm. They weigh 43-63 g.

Habitat:
The rosy-faced lovebird is mostly found in dry savannas, usually near permanent standing water, also using dry scrublands and rocky areas. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed on the seeds of various grasses and trees such as Albizia and Acacia, as well as buds and leaves of several plants.

Breeding:
Rosy-faced lovebirds breed in February-June. They are monogamous and nest in a rock crevice, or use the large, communal nests of sociable weavers Philetairus socius and white-browed sparrow-weavers Plocepasser mahali. The female lays 4-6 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 23 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by the female while the male continues to bring food to the nest. They fledge 5-6 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as locally common or even abundant near water. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to unsustainable levels of exploitation.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Lesser seed-finch

Oryzoborus angolensis

Photo by Dario Sanches (Flickr)

Common name:
lesser seed-finch (en); curió (pt); sporophile curio (fr); semillero curió (es); braunbauch-reisknacker (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This species is found in South America, east of the Andes, from Colombia and Venezuela south to Bolivia, eastern Paraguay, southern Brazil and extreme north-eastern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 10,5-13 cm long and weigh 11,5-16 g.

Habitat:
The lesser seed-finch is found in moist tropical forests and scrublands, particularly in forest clearing and along forests edges, also using second growths. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed on grass seeds and insects, being known to glean grass seeds directly from the stems.

Breeding:
Lesser seed-finches can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a deep cup made of fine grasses, where the female lays 1-3 greenish-white eggs with brown spots. The eggs are incubated are incubated for 12-13 days and the chicks fledge about 30 days after hatching. They reach sexual maturity at 1 year of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be increasing as ongoing habitat degradation is creating new areas of suitable habitat.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Black-necked grebe

Podiceps nigricollis

Photo by Gerard Visser (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
black-necked grebe (en); mergulhão-de-pescoço-preto (pt); grèbe à cou noir (fr); zampullín cuellinegro (es); schwarzhalstaucher (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Podicipediformes
Family Podicipedidae

Range:
This species occurs in three disjunct subspecies. P.n. nigricollis breeds from western Europe to western Asia,  in central and eastern Asia as far as north-eastern China and extreme south-eastern Russia, and with a few population in East Africa. Some population migrate south to winter around the Mediterranean, in the Middle East and in Japan and southern China. P.n. gurneyi is found in southern Africa, and P.n. californicus breeds in south-western Canada and in the western United States and migrates south as far as Guatemala.

Size:
These birds are 28-34 cm long and have a wingspan of 56-60 cm long. They weigh 265-450 g.

Habitat:
The black-necked grebe breeds in small, shallow, highly eutrophic water bodies with lush vegetation, such as freshwater marshes and lakes, also using reed beds, fish ponds and sewage farms. Outside the breeding season they use saltwater lakes, estuaries, saltpans, and inshore shallow bays and channels.

Diet:
They feed mainly on adult and larval insects, such as aquatic bugs, beetles, damselflies, dragonflies, midges and brine flies, also taking snails, crustaceans such as brine shrimps, polychaete worms, small frogs and tadpoles, and small fish.

Breeding:
Black-necked grebes can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. They are monogamous and often nest in dense colonies. Each pair build a nest that consists of a mound of algae and other soft plant matter, anchored on an underwater plant in open water. There the female lays 2-5 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 20-22 days. The chicks leave the nest immediately after hatching, and are fed and carried on the backs of both parents until they fledge, about 21 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 3,9-4,2 million individuals, possibly being the most numerous of all grebes. The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are stable, have unknown trends or are increasing.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Crimson-collared grosbeak

Rhodothraupis celaeno

Photo by Lew Scharpf (PBase)

Common name:
crimson-collared grosbeak (en); bico-grosso-de-coleira (pt); cardinal à collier (fr); picogrueso cuellirrufo (es); halsbandkardinal (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Cardinalidae

Range:
This species is endemic to eastern Mexico, being found from Nuevo Léon to northern Vera Cruz and north-eastern Puebla.

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

Habitat:
The crimson-collared grosbeak is mostly found in dry tropical forests and scrublands, also using humid forests, second growths, citrus groves and sweet gums stands.

Diet:
They feed on leaves, seeds and berries, also taking some insects.

Breeding:
These birds may breed in May-July. The nest is a loosely built cup made of twigs and grass, and lined with finer materials, placed in a scrub, tangled vine or small tree up to 2 m above the ground. The female lays 2-3 light blue-grey eggs with brown flecks, which she incubates alone for 11-13 days. There is no information regarding the fledging period.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 20.000-50.000 individuals. Although there in no information on population trends, the crimson-collared grosbeak appears to adapt to some altered habitats, making less vulnerable to habitat changes than other species.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Blood-coloured woodpecker

Veniliornis sanguineus

(Photo from Ron Allicock Birding Tours)

Common name:
blood-coloured woodpecker (en); pica-pau-sangue (pt); pic rougeâtre (fr); carpintero sanguíneo (es); blutrückenspecht (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

Range:
This species is found along the coasts of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

Size:
These birds are 12-13 cm long and weigh 23-30 g.

Habitat:
The blood-coloured woodpecker is mostly found in mangroves and swamp forests, also using other lowland, moist tropical forests and coffee plantations.

Diet:
They feed on ants, beetles and caterpillars.

Breeding:
These birds breed in February-November, nesting in a hole excavated by both sexes into a dead stump or tree, 1-3 m above the ground. There the female lays 1-3 eggs which are incubated by both sexes. There is no further 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. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Orange-headed thrush

Zoothera citrina

(Photo from Manuk)

Common name:
orange-headed thrush (en); tordo-de-cabeça-laranja (pt); grive à tête orange (fr); zorzal citrino (es); damadrossel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

Range:
This species is found from southern China, west to northern Pakistan, and south into southern India, parts of Indochina and the Indonesian islands of Borneo and Java.

Size:
These birds are 20-23,5 cm long and weigh 47-67 g.

Habitat:
The orange-headed thrush is mostly found in the understorey of both deciduous and evergreen, moist tropical forests, also using dry tropical forests, secondary forests, bamboo thickets, rivers and streams, plantations and rural gardens. They occur at altitudes of 250-2.300 m.

Diet:
They feed on termites and other insects, slugs, snails, leaches, earthworms, berries, fruits and grass seeds.

Breeding:
Orange-headed thrushes breedin April-October. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a wide but shallow cup, made of twigs, ferns and rootlets, and lined with leaves, moss and conifer needles. It is placed in a small tree or scrub, up to 4,5 m above the ground. The female lays 3-5 cream, pale blue, pale grey or pale green eggs with lilac and reddish-brown blotches and spots. The eggs are incubated for 13-14 days and the chicks fledge 12 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as uncommon and scarce to locally common. The species is suspected to be experiencing an ongoing decline, owing to high trapping pressure for the cage bird trade and continuing habitat loss.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Streaked fantail

Rhipidura verreauxi

Photo by Josep del Hoyo (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
streaked fantail (en); cauda-de-leque-malhado (pt); rhipidure tacheté (fr); abanico moteado (es); fleckenfächerschwanz (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Rhipiduridae

Range:
This species is found in the Pacific archipelagos of New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji.

Size:
These birds are 17-18 cm long and weigh 11,5-15 g.

Habitat:
The streaked fantail is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including forest edges and partially cleared forests, but also use moist scrublands and gardens.

Diet:
They forage in the lower canopy and, to a lesser extent, in the undergrowth, taking various insects.

Breeding:
Streaked fantails breed in September-February. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a neat cup made of fine twigs held together with spider webs. The female lays 2-3 white eggs with brown spots, which are incubated by both parents for 15-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 15 days after hatching.

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

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

White-chested emerald

Amazilia brevirostris

Photo by Fayard Mohammed (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
white-chested emerald (en); beija-flor-de-bico-preto (pt); ariane à poitrine blanche (fr); diamante colidorado (es); kurzschnabelamazilie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found from central and eastern Venezuela to the French Guyana and south into Roraima in extreme northern Brazil. Also in the Caribbean island of Trinidad.

Size:
These birds are 9-10 cm long and weigh 4,5 g.

Habitat:
The white-chested emerald is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including gallery forests, also using dry tropical forests and savannas, moist scrublands, second growths, arable land and plantations. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on the nectar from various tree and scrubs, including Erythrina, Samanea, Calliandra and Heliconia, but also take small insects.

Breeding:
White-chested emeralds breed in December-April. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of a small cup made of plant fibres and lichen, placed on an horizontal brancg 1-7 m above the ground. There she lays 2 eggs, which she incubates alone, but there is no information regarding the length of the incubation period. She raises the chicks alone and they fledge about 20 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. They are suspected to lose 9% of suitable habitat within their range over the next decade, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, so a small decline is expected in the near future.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Ruby-cheeeked sunbird

Anthreptes singalensis

Photo from (OK Nation)

Common name:
ruby-cheeked sunbird (en); beija-flor-de-faces-rubi (pt); souimanga à joues rubis (fr); suimanga carirrubí (es); rubinwangen-nektarvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Nectariniidae

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

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

Habitat:
The ruby-cheeked sunbird is found in moist tropical forest and mangroves, including forest edges and second growths, as well as moist scrublands, rivers and streams, plantations and rural gardens.

Diet:
They feed on small arthropods, including caterpillars and spiders, as well as fruits, pollen and nectar.

Breeding:
These birds breed in February-August. They are monogamous and the nest is purse-shaped and made of plant fibres held together with spider webs. The nest is placed hanging beneath the leaves at the end of a branch in a scrub or small tree 1-3 m above the ground. The female lays 2 cream or pinkish eggs with purplish-grey mottles. The eggs are incubated by the female alone, but both parents feed the chicks. 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 described as common in Thailand, Sabah and the Indian Subcontinent, locally common in Bangladesh, very rare in Nepal, rare in Bhutan and uncommon on Sumatra. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Wandering albatross

Diomedea exulans


Common name:
wandering albatross (en); albatroz-errante (pt); albatros hurleur (fr); albatros viajero (es); wanderalbatros (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Procellariiformes
Family Diomedeidae

Range:
This species breeds in small, remote islands of the southern oceans, namely South Georgia, Prince Edward Islands, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands and Macquarie Island. They wander over most of the southern oceans, as far south as the northernmost parts of Antarctica and as far north as southern Brazil and central Chile, southern Namibia and Mozambique, New Zealand and southern Australia.

Size:
These birds are 107-135 cm long and have the largest recorded wingspan of any bird alive today, at 250-350 cm. They weigh 8,2-11,9 kg.

Habitat:
The wandering albatross is a pelagic bird, found in open oceanic waters and only coming to land to breed in on exposed ridges and hillocks, amongst open and patchy vegetation, in remote oceanic islands.

Diet:
They hunt fish, squids and other cephalopods, and, to a lesser extent, crustaceans. Their prey include the cephalopods Kondakovia longimana, Sepia apama, Histioteuthis, Moroteuthis, and Taonius, and toothfishes Dissostichus.

Breeding:
Wandering albatrosses start breeding in December and typically only breed once every 2 years. They are monogamous and mate for life. They nest in loose colonies, each pair building a mound of grasses, moss and peat soil, where the female lays a single egg. The egg is incubated by both parents for 74-85 days. The chick is fed by both parents and fledges 7-10 months after hatching. They reach sexual maturity at 9-11 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has an extremely large range and the global population is currently estimated at 20.100 individuals. The population is believed to have declined by 30% over the last 7 decades, but presently only the population is South Georgia is still declining, with other breeding population now stabilized or slightly increasing. Declines of wandering albatross population are mainly caused by accidental by-catch in longline fisheries, while hunting was only a problem until the early 20th century. Chicks are vulnerable to the accumulation of anthropogenic debris and fishing hooks, and in some islands can be preyed upon by cats. There has also been extensive habitat loss and degradation at South Georgia due to the activities of Antarctic fur seals Arctocephalus gazella. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) has introduced measures which have reduced by-catch of albatrosses around South Georgia by over 99%, and other Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, have taken initial steps to reduce seabird by-catch rates. Most breeding colonies are part of nature reserves and on Macquarie cats have been eradicated and an operation targeting rabbits, rats, and mice commenced in the winter of 2010.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Yellow-browed melidectes

Melidectes rufocrissalis

Photo by Jon Hornbuckle (Birding Around the World)

Common name:
yellow-browed melidectes (en); melífago-de-Reichenow (pt); méliphage de Reichenow (fr); mielero cejiamarillo (es); Reichenowhonigfresser (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is endemic to New guinea, being found in the central and eastern mountains of Papua-New Guinea and marginally across the border into Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are 26-29 cm long and weigh 55-95 g.

Habitat:
The yellow-browed melidectes is found in lower and middle mountain rainforests, also using second growths, forests edges and even gardens.

Diet:
They forage on the middle and upper levels of the forests, taking insects, nectar and fruits.

Breeding:
These birds possibly breed all year round. The nest in an open basket woven with fine grasses. There is no further information regarding the incubation of this species.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and is described as fairly common to common. There is no available information on population trends.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Northern bald ibis

Geronticus eremita

Photo by Agustín Poovedano (Flickr)

Common name:
northern bald ibis (en); íbis-calva (pt); ibis chauve (fr); ibis eremita (es); waldrapp (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Ciconiiformes
Family Threskiornithidae

Range:
Historically, this species was probably found throughout North Africa and into the Middle East, but presently it is only found in two disjunct populations. There is a western population in Morocco, located in Souss-Massa National Park and nearby Tamri, and an eastern population in Turkey and Syria, of which possibly only a few individuals remain in a breeding area at Palmyra, in Syria. The western population is sedentary, while the eastern population migrates south to winter in central Ethiopia.

Size:
These birds are 70-80 cm long andhave a wingspan of 125-135 cm. They weigh 1,3-1,6 kg.

Habitat:
The northern bald ibis breeds in cliffs and escarpments in remote arid regions, often near the banks of rivers, along streams or on the coast. They forage in dry grasslands and scrublands, wetlands, pastures and stubble fields. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.400 m.

Diet:
They forage in large, loose flocks, mainly large invertebrates such as grasshoppers and locusts, crickets, beetles, earwigs, ants, woodlice, spiders, scorpions and molluscs, but also small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs, fish, rodents and birds.

Breeding:
Northern bald ibises breed in February-June. They nest in small colonies of 3 to about 40 pairs, each pair building a loose platform of branches lined with grass and placed on a cliff ledge or cave. The female lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 24-28 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and remain near the nest until fledging, 43-47 days after hatching, but continue to be fed by the parents for quite some time afterwards. They reach sexual maturity at 3-5 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - CR (Critically Endangered)
This species as a small breeding range and a global population estimated at just 200-250 individuals. The Syrian population is believed to be in decline, while the population in Morocco has been stable or slightly increasing since the 1980s. The species declined over several centuries partly owing to unidentified natural causes, but the more recent declines result of a combination of factors, namely illegal building and disturbance close to the breeding cliffs, changes in farming practices on the feeding grounds, hunting and habitat degradation through overgrazing and collecting of firewood. Conservation actions underway include captive breeding programmes, based on the many northern bald ibises that live in zoos worldwide, while the Souss-Massa National Park was designated specifically to protect nesting and feeding areas, and the provision of freshwater near the breeding colonies in the national park has been shown experimentally to increase productivity, buffering individuals against the impacts of low rainfall.



Thursday, 13 November 2014

Millerbird

Acrocephalus familiaris

Photo by R. Kohley (Wikipedia)

Common name:
millerbird (en); felosa-do-Hawai (pt); rousserolle obscure (fr); carricero hawaiano (es); Hawaii-rohrsänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the steep, rocky island of Nihoa in the north-western Hawaiian Islands.

Size:
These birds are 13 cm long ad weigh 15-21,5 g.

Habitat:
The millerbird is found in dense, moist scrublands, particularly around Sida fallax, Solanum nelsonii and Chenopodium oahuense.

Diet:
They feed on various small arthropods, including beetles, caterpillars and moths, spiders, roaches, ants, bugs, grasshoppers, flies and pseudoscorpions.

Breeding:
Millerbirds breed in January-September. the nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a deep cup placed among dense scrubs. The female lays 2 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 14-17 days. The chicks fledge about 14 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - CR (Critically Endangered)
This species has an extremely small breeding range and a global population estimated at 250-1.000 individuals. Existing data does suggest that millerbird numbers on Nihoa have experienced pronounced fluctuations and have likely ranged between fewer than 50 and more than 800 individuals. The species is suffering extensive and strikingly low levels of genetic diversity as a result of recent severe bottlenecks caused by climatic events, anthropogenic influences and the introduction of exotic mammals, plants and insects. There was also a population on the island of Laysan, which became extinct in the early 20th century due to the introduction of rabbits and livestock, which denuded the island of vegetation. Severe weather events, diseases and the effect of grasshopper outbreaks on the island's vegetation are all relevant threats for the millerbird. At present, access to Nihoa is strictly controlled to avoid the accidental introduction of new species via seeds, eggs or arthropods travelling on clothes and equipment. A translocation programme is currently in progress with first birds having been released in Laysan in 2011 and having bread successfully.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

White-throated tinamou

Tinamus guttatus

Photo by Ulrich Schmid (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
white-throated tinamou (en); inhambu-galinha (pt); tinamou à gorge blanche (fr); tinamú moteado (es); weißkehltinamu (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Tinamiformes
Family Tinamidae

Range:
This species is found from south-eastern Colombia, through eastern Ecuador and eastern Peru, and into northern Bolivia and into Brazil along the Amazon river basin from Amazonas and Rondônia east to Pará and Maranhão.

Size:
These birds are 32-36 cm long. The males are smaller than females, weighing 620-650 g while females weigh 680-800 g.

Habitat:
The white-throated tinamou is found in primary tropical rainforests, mainly in terra firme areas from sea level up to an altitude of 500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seeds, also taking fruits and some invertebrates such as ants.

Breeding:
White-throated tinamous breed in March-October. The female lays 4-6 bright turquoise eggs on the ground. There is no 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 fairly common. However, it is it threatened by accelerating deforestation in Amazonia as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network, and a model of Amazonian deforestation predicts 17-23% of suitable habitat will be lost over the next 2 decades. Given its susceptibility to hunting and trapping, the white-throated tinamou is suspected to decline by 25-30% in the near future.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Rufous-breasted wren

Thryothorus rutilus

(Photo from PBase)

Common name:
rufous-breasted wren (en); carriça-de-peito-ruivo (pt); troglodyte des halliers (fr); cucarachero pechirrufo (es); rotbrust-zaunkönig (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Troglodytidae

Range:
This species is found from south-western Costa Rica, through Panama, and into Venezuela, Colombia and the Caribbean island of Tobago.

Size:
These birds are 14 cm long and weigh13,5-18,5 g.

Habitat:
The rufous-breasted wren is mostly found in mois tropical forests, including rainforests and cloud forests, also using second growths and forest edges. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.900 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects, such as beetles, bugs, flies and wasps, but also centipedes and, occasionally, seeds.

Breeding:
Rufous-breasted wrens breed in December-July. The nest is built both sexes, consisting of a bulky, domed structure, with a side entrance, made of grass and leaves. It is placed among tangled vegetation, in the forest undergrowth. The female lays 2-4 white eggs with brown blotches, which she incubates alone. There is no information regarding the length of the incubation period, but the chicks fledge 16 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.

Monday, 10 November 2014

White-throated munia

Lonchura malabarica

Photo by Per Jespersen (Per Jespersen)

Common name:
white-throated munia (en); bico-de-chumbo-indiano (pt); capucin bec-de-plomb (fr); capuchino picoplata indio (es); Indischer silberschnabel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Estrildidae

Range:
This species is found throughout India and Sri Lanka, into Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan, and also around the Persian Gulf in southern Iran, Oman and the UAE. It has been introduced to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar, Puerto Rico, Hawaiian islands and the Virgin islands.

Size:
These birds are 11-11,5 cm long and weigh 10-14 g.

Habitat:
The white-throated munia is found in arid, open arid, such as dry grasslands and scrublands, dry savannas, pastures and arable land. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 .

Diet:
They usually forage in flocks of up to 60 individuals, taking the seeds of various sedges and grasses, as well as ants and other small insects and, occasionally, nectar.

Breeding:
White-throated munias can breed all year round, generally beginning with the onset of rains. The female builds an irregular, oval nest, using material collected by the male. The nest is lined with feather and usually placed in a low thorny scrub or tree, up to 3 m above the ground. The female lays 3-8 eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 11 days.The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 19 days after hatching, only becoming fully independent 1 weeks later. Each pair can raise 4 broods per year.

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