Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Western spindalis

Spindalis zena

Photo by John Schwarz (Birdspix)

Common name:
western spindais (en); zena-de-cuba (pt); zéna à tête rayée (fr); cigua cubana (es); Kuba-streifenkopftangare (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

This species is found in the northern Caribbean, in the Bahamas, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, on Grand Cayman island, and on the island of Cozumel off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.

These birds are 15-17 cm long and weigh 18-36 g.

The western spindalis is found in moist tropical forests, both moist and dry scrublands, and in second growths. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

They feed mainly on fruits and berries, but also take other plant parts, insects and snails.

Western spindalis breed in April-August. They are monogamous and breed in solitary pairs, nesting in a cup made of twigs and other plant material, and lined with finer materials. The female lays 2-3 pale blue eggs with brown flecks, which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The is no available information regarding the fledging period.

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

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