Friday, 23 January 2015

Red-fronted serin

Serinus pusillus

Photo by Giorgi Rajebashvili (Georgian Biodiversity Database)

Common name:
fire-fronted serin (en); chamariz-de-testa-vermelha (pt); serin à front d'or (fr); verdecillo de frente roja (es); rotstirngirlitz (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

This species is found from Turkey and Jordan, through the Caucasus and Iran, and into central Asia as far east as Xinjiang in north-western China, and the northern slopes of the Himalayas as far as Bhutan.

These birds are 10,5-13 cm long and have a wingspan of 21-23 cm. They weigh 9,5-13,5 g.

The fire-fronted serin is mostly found in temperate forests and scrublands in mountainous areas, favouring areas dominated by birch, pine and juniper. They also use grasslands and occur at altitudes of 2.000-4.600 m.

They forage both on the ground and in the vegetation, mainly taking seeds, shoots, flower heads and fruits, but also some insects.

Fire-fronted serins are monogamous and breed in April-August. The nest is a neat and compact cup, made of dry grass, bark strips, stalks, moss, lichen, and sometimes twigs. It is thickly lined with plant down and feathers, and placed in dense vegetation or sometimes in a rock crevice, often located on a ledge in an inaccessible cliff. There the female lays 3-5 bluish-white eggs with pink and dark purple markings, which she incubates alone for 11-16 days. The chicks fledge 14-16 days after hatching. Each pair raises 1-2 broods per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is very roughly estimated at 3,5-49,2 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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