Saturday, 31 January 2015

Long-tailed reed-finch

Donacospiza albifrons

Photo by Cláudio Timm (Wikipedia)

Common name:
long-tailed reed-finch (en); tico-tico-do-banhado (pt); donacospize des marais (fr); cachilo canela (es); riedammerfink (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This species is found from south-eastern Brazil south to eastern Paraguay, Uruguay and north-eastern Argentina, and there is also a disjunct population in northern Bolivia.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 14-16,5 g.

Habitat:
The long-tailed reed-finch is mostly found in marshes and reedbeds with tall emergent vegetation such as Typha, Eryngium, Scirpus, also using wet grasslands and moist scrubland. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects, but also take seeds. Sometimes they follow army ant swarms to hunt the insects flushes by the ants.

Breeding:
These birds breed in October-June. They nest in a cup made of plant fibres but 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 described as fairly common but patchily distributed. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Greater pied puffbird

Notharchus tectus

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
greater pied puffbird (en); macuru-pintado (pt); tamatia pie (fr); buco pío (es); elsterfaulvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galbuliformes
Family Bucconidae

Range:
This species is found from southern Colombia, south to central Peru, and east to the Guyanas and into Brazil as far as Mato Grosso and Maranhão.


Size:
These birds are 14-17 cm long and weigh 20-40 g.

Habitat:
The greater pied puffbird is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including forest edges and clearings, but also use mangroves, dry tropical forests, second growths, moist scrublands, dry savannas, rivers and streams, pastures and plantations. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m.

Diet:
They hunt large arthropods, such as dragonflies, grasshoppers, bugs, butterflies and moths, and spiders.

Breeding:
Greater pied puffbirds breed in March-December, varying among different parts of their range. They nest is a deep tunnel excavated in an arboreal termite nest or in an earth bank, with an unlined nest chamber at the end. There the female lays 2-3 white eggs. There is no 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 fairly common but patchily distributed. The greater pied puffbird is suspected to lose 18-23% of suitable habitat within its range over the next decade based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. It is therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Barred owl

Strix varia

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Common name:
barred owl (en); coruja-raiada (pt); chouette rayée (fr); cárabo norteamericano (es); streifenkauz (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

Range:
This species is found in southern Canada and throughout the eastern United States, and also the in the western United States in north-western Montana and from Washington south to northern California. There are also isolated populations in the mountain of central Mexico.

Size:
These birds are 43-51 cm long and have a wingspan of 99-111 cm. They weigh 470-1.050 g, with females tending to be larger than males.

Habitat:
The barred owl is mostly found in coniferous and mixed deciduous-coniferous forests, favouring mature forests with nearby open water. They also use tropical forests, wooded swamps, lakes and rivers, rural gardens and urban areas. They occur at altitudes of 1.300-3.100 m.

Diet:
They hunt mainly right after sunset, and during the night, taking small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, birds up to the size of a grouse, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods. They are also known to catch fishes.

Breeding:
Barred owls are monogamous and breed in February-August. They usually nest in an unlined natural tree cavity, but may also use lichens and pine needles for lining or use abandoned nests from other birds. The female lays 2-3 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 28-33 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 4-5 weeks after hatching, but only become fully independent about 5 months later. They reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 3 million individuals. The population has undergone a large increase of 17% per decade of the last 4 decades, and has expanded in range in the Pacific Northwest.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Ground cuckooshrike

Coracina maxima

Photo by Russel Jenkins (Bird Forum)

Common name:
ground cuckooshrike (en); lagarteiro-da-terra (pt); échenilleur terrestre (fr); oruguero terrestre (es); grundraupenfänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Campephagidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia, being found throughout the Australian mainland, but especially in the interior.

Size:
These birds are 31-38 cm long and weigh 124-155 g.

Habitat:
The ground cuckooshrike is found in open, dry habitats, including dry scrublands and grasslands, sparse dry savannas and Eucalyptus woodlands, also using pastures and arable land.

Diet:
They mainly hunt adult and larval insects, including mantids, grasshoppers, locusts, stick insects and ants, but also take spiders and possibly even small birds such as house sparrows Passer domesticus. Occasionally also plant material such as fruits and berries.

Breeding:
Ground cuckooshrikes can breed all year round, usually after rains. They nest communally and sometimes show cooperative breeding, with the breeding pair being helped by the young from the previous year. The nest is a a deep cup made of fine dry twigs, small roots, bark and herbs, held together with spider webs. It is lined with lichens, moss and wool, and placed in an horizontal branch or fork in a tree, 3-15 m above the ground. They can also use old nest from other birds. The female lays 2-4 but there is no information regarding the incubation period. The chicks are fed by both parents and by the helpers, and fledge about 29 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range but is reported to be erratic and generally uncommon. The population is estimated to be in decline following declines detected in Victoria since the 1970s due to habitat destruction.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Common buttonquail

Turnix sylvaticus

Photo by Jugal Tiwari (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
common buttonquail (en); toirão (pt); turnix d'Andalousie (fr); torillo andaluz (es); laufhühnchen (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Gruiformes
Family Turnicidae

Range:
This species is found in several disjunct areas. The subspecies T.s. sylvaticus is found in southern Spain and north-western Morocco, and the subspecies T.s. lepurana is found throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa and also in south-western Yemen and extreme south-western Saudi Arabia. The subspecies T.s. dussumier and T.s. davidi are found from eastern Pakistan, throughout India and into southern China, Taiwan and Indochina. There are also several endemic subspecies in the Philippines and in the Indonesian islands of Java, Bali and smaller nearby islands.

Size:
These birds are 13-17 cm long and weigh 30-70 g.

Habitat:
The common buttonquail is found in dry grasslands and scrublands, particularly in areas with sandy soils, also using arable land and scrubby savannas. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.400 m.

Diet:
They feed on small invertebrates and seeds, particularly ant and grass seeds.

Breeding:
Common buttonquails can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. They are sequentially polyandrous, meaning that females mate with several males, each taking care of one brood. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a shallow scrape on the ground, lined with a few pieces of grass and often sheltered by a grass tuft. There, the female lays 4-6 greyish-white or pinkish eggs with purple and brownish spots and speckles, which are incubated for 12-15 days. The female incubates the first few days, after which she leaves, leaving the male responsible of the remaining incubation and chick-rearing duties. The chicks fledge 18-20 days after hatching, but are able to make short flights already at 7-11 days of age. Each male raises a single brood per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and is reported to vary from scarce to locally abundant. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and unsustainable levels of exploitation and the small remaining population in Europe may be very close to extinction.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Seychelles blue-pigeon

Alectroenas pulcherrimus

Photo by Conrad Savy (iNaturalist)

Common name:
Seychelles blue-pigeon (en); pombo-azul-das-Seychelles (pt); founingo rougecap (fr);  paloma azul de Seychelles (es); warzenfruchttaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the Seychelles archipelago, in the Indian Ocean, being found on the islands of Praslin, La Digue, Mahé, North, Silhouette, Frigate, Curieuse, Denis, Aride and Bird. It has also been successfully introduced to the island of Cousin.

Size:
These birds are 24-25 cm long and have a wingspan of 38-40 cm. They weigh 160-165 g.

Habitat:
The Seychelles blue-pigeon is found in tropical rainforests, both in lowland and in mountainous areas.

Diet:
They feed on fruits, berries and seeds, namely wild guavas Psidium, cinnamon berries and nuts of takamaka Calophyllum tacamahaca.

Breeding:
These birds breed mainly in October-April, but can breed all year round. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of a loose platform of twigs placed in a tree or scrub, where she lays 1-2 eggs. The eggs are incubated for about 28 days and the chicks fledge about 21 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a small breeding range and is considered to be less common than in the past. The population is suspected to be declining due to hunting and habitat destruction, but since the 1970s they stopped to be exploited for food, which allowed the recovery of some populations and even the recolonization of the islands of Curieuse, Denis, Aride and Bird. Nest predation by introduced rats and cats may also be a problem for this species.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Swamp greenbul

Thescelocichla leucopleura

Photo by Chris Perkins (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
swamp greenbul (en); tuta-da-ráfia (pt); bulbul des raphias (fr); bulbul de las rafias (es); raphiabülbül (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Pycnonotidae

Range:
This species is found from Senegal, along the coast of West Africa into southern Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon, and eastwards into Congo and D.R. Congo, and marginally into northern Angola.

Size:
These birds are about 23 cm long and weigh 58-67 g.

Habitat:
The swamp greenbul is mostly found in tropical swamp forests with palm trees, particularly Raphia and to a lesser extent Elaeis. They also use dry tropical forests, dry savannas, second growths, plantations and arable land.

Diet:
They feed on fruits, including Ficus, Heisteria, Macaranga, Morinda, Musanga and Schleffera.

Breeding:
Swamp greenbuls possibly breed in January-October. 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 described as common in areas of suitable habitat. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Madagascar scops-owl

Otus rutilus

Photo by Paolo Tibaldeschi (WWF-Bloggen Var Verden)

Common name:
Madagascar scops-owl (en); mocho-d'orelhas-de-Madagáscar (pt); petit-duc malgache (fr); autillo malgache (es); Madagaskar-zwergohreule (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Madagascar, being found throughout the island.

Size:
These birds are 19-24 cm long and have a wingspan of 50-55 cm. Females are larger than males, weighing 112-120 g while males weigh 85-107 g.

Habitat:
The Madagascar scops-owl is found in a wide range of habitats, including both primary and secondary forests in both moist and dry climates, dry scrublands, plantations, rural gardens and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of at least 1.800 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects, especially moth and beetles, but possibly also small vertebrates.

Breeding:
Madagascar scops-owls breed in November-January. They mainly nest in tree cavities, 4-7 m above the ground, but have also been found to nest on the ground, in small depressions among the leaf litter. The female lays 2-5 white eggs, which she incubates alone. There is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledging periods.

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

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)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

Range:
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.

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

Habitat:
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.

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

Breeding:
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.

Conservation:
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.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Fernando Po oliveback

Nesocharis shelleyi

Photo by Krzysztof Blachowiak (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Fernando Po oliveback (en); olivinha-de-rabo-curto (pt); dos-vert à tête noire (fr); olivino carinegro (es); meisenastrild (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Estrildidae

Range:
This species is found in north-western Cameroon, including Bioko Island, and marginally into south-eastern Nigeria.

Size:
These birds are 8 cm long and weigh 7-9 g.

Habitat:
The Fernando Po oliveback is found in mountain rainforests, cocoa plantations, moist scrublands and dry savannas, mainly at altitudes of 1.200-2.100 m, but also at lower altitudes.

Diet:
They forage on all levels of the vegetations, taking both small insects and seeds.

Breeding:
These birds breed in December-March. There is no further information regarding their reproduction.

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

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Reddish hermit

Phaethornis ruber

Photo by João Quental (Flickr)

Common name:
reddish hermit (en); rabo-branco-rubro (pt); ermite roussâtre (fr); ermitaño rojizo (es); roter zwergschattenkolibri (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found in northern South America, east of the Andes, from southern and eastern Colombia east to Suriname and eastern Brazil, and south to central Bolivia and Mato Grosso, Goiás and São Paulo in Brazil.

Size:
These tiny hummingbirds are 7,5-9 cm long and weigh 1,8-3 g.

Habitat:
The reddish hermit is mostly found in the understorey of moist tropical forests, also using swamp forests, second growths and dry savannas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on the nectar of flowers such as Trichanthera, Petraea, Costus, Dahlstedtia and Heliconia, but also take small arthropods.

Breeding:
Reddish hermits breed in May-February, varying among different parts of their range. males perform an elaborate display to attract females, taking little to no part in the breeding process after mating. The female builds the nest, an elongated purse made of dry leaves, moss, lichens and fine plant fibres, which is placed hanging from the inside of the leave of a palm or other tree, 0,5-3 m above the ground. She lays 2 white eggs which she incubates alone for 15 days, and feeds the chicks alone until they fledge 18-22 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The reddish hermit is suspected to loose 15-17% of suitable habitat within its range over the next decade, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Therefore, it is suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Kashmir flycatcher

Ficedula subrubra

Photo by Juhasz Tibor (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Kashmir flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-de-Caxemira (pt); gobemouche du Cachemire (fr); papamoscas de Cachemira (es); Kaschmir-fliegenschnäpper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

Range:
This species breeds in the Kashmir region, in the north-western Himalayas, particularly in the Neelum Valley and Kaz-i-nag range in Pakistan, and in the Pir Panjal range in India. They migrate south to winter mainly in Sri Lanka and also in the southern Western Ghats, in southern India.

Size:
These birds are 13 cm long and weigh 9-12 g.

Habitat:
The Kashmir flycatcher breeds in mixed deciduous forests with dense understorey, particularly hazel Corylus, walnut Albizia, cherry Prunus, willow Salix and Perrottetia, at altitudes of 1.800-2.700 m. Outside the breeding season they also use moist tropical forests, plantations and rural gardens.

Diet:
They feed mainly on flying insects, taken by sallying out from a low perch, but also hunt prey on the ground.

Breeding:
Kashmir flycatchers breed in May-July and are presumed to be monogamous. They nest in an untidy cup made of dried leaves, grasses and moss, and lined with hairs, bark shavings and feathers. Nests are placed in natural tree hollows or old woodpecker nests, mainly in Perrottetia or willow trees, and usually 2-12 m above the ground. The female lays 3-5 eggs which she incubates alone, but there is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
The Kashmir flycatcher has a relatively small breeding range and the global population is estimated at 1.500-7.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate as a result of habitat degradation and loss in both the wintering and breeding grounds due to commercial timber extraction, conversion of land for agriculture, livestock-grazing which substantially alters forest understorey structure and composition, and tree-lopping for animal fodder, fuel wood and construction materials.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Silvered antbird

Sclateria naevia

Photo by Lou Hegedus (Mango Verde)

Common name:
silvered antbird (en); papa-formigas-do-igarapé (pt); alapi paludicole (fr); hormiguero plateado (es); mangroveameisenvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

Range:
This species is found in northern South America, east of the Andes, from central Colombia east to Suriname and south to Bolivia, and to Mato Grosso and Maranhão, in Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 14-16 cm long and weigh 20-27 g.

Habitat:
The silvered antbird is mostly found in the understorey and floor of swamp forests and flooded rainforests, also using mangroves, moist scrublands and the margins of fresh water lakes. they are present from sea level up to an altitude of 700 m.

Diet:
They usually forage in pairs, taking insects such as bugs, beetles and leafhoppers, and spiders, from the leaf litter, from the ground, or from the water surface.

Breeding:
Silvered antbirds possibly breed in August-December. The nest is a deep cup made of thick rootlets and green moss, and lined with finer rootlets. It is woven to a fork in a small tree, about 0,8 m above a small stream. There the female lays 2 dull white, bluish-white or buffy grey with reddish-brown spots and blotches. There is no available information regarding the length of the incubation and fledging periods, but both parents feed the chicks.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The silvered antbird is suspected to lose 12-14% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 15 years based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. Given the susceptibility of the species to fragmentation and edge effects, it is suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Yellowish-breasted racquet-tail

Prioniturus flavicans

Photo by Simon van der Meulen (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
yellowish-breasted racquet-tail (en); papagaio-de-raquetes-amarelado (pt); palette de Cassin (fr); lorito-momoto amarillento (es); flaggenschwanzpapagei (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Indonesia, only being found in the Minahasa Peninsula, in northern Sulawesi, and in nearby islands including the Togian Islands.

Size:
These birds are 37 cm long.

Habitat:
The yellowish-breasted racquet-tail is found in primary, lowland rainforests, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.000 m. Occasionally, they may also use stands of trees near the forest edge.

Diet:
Although there is information on their diet, these birds are known to forage among flocks of fruit-eating birds.

Breeding:
Yellowish-breasted racquet-tails breed in December-March. They nest on cavities in the root balls of arboreal epiphytic ferns, where the female lays 3 eggs. The female incubates the eggs alone for 30-33 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 44-48 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 45.000 individuals. The population is suspected to have declined recently at a moderately rapid rate, owing to current rates of habitat destruction, degradation and fragmentation caused by deforestation.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Ashy tit

Parus cinerascens

Photo by Matt Muir (iNaturalist)

Common name:
ashy tit (en); chapim-cinzento (pt); mésange cendrée (fr); carbonero cinéreo (es); akazienmeise (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Paridae

Range:
This species is found from southern Angola and Zimbabwe south to central South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 14,5-15 cm long and weigh 18,5-22 g.

Habitat:
The ashy tit is mostly found in dry Acacia savannas, particularly Acacia erioloba, also using dry scrublands and dry tropical forests. They occur at altitudes of 275-1.880 m.

Diet:
They feed on various small invertebrates, including caterpillars, beetles, ants, flies and spiders, but also take some fruits and seeds.

Breeding:

Ashy tits are monogamous and breed in September-April. The nest is a thick pad made of animal hair and fine plant fibres, usually placed in either a natural tree cavity or an old barbet or woodpecker nest. There the female lays 3-6 eggs, which she incubates alone for 14-15 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 20-22 days after hatching.


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

Friday, 16 January 2015

Wattled honeyeater

Foulehaio carunculatus

(Photo from Zoochat)

Common name:

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Meliphagidae

Range:
This species is found in the Pacific archipelagos of Fiji, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga and Wallis and Futuna.

Size:
These birds are 19-21 cm long and weigh 25-45 g.

Habitat:
The wattled honeyeater is mostly found in moist tropical forests, but also uses a wide range of other habitats, including mangroves, coastal forests, second growths, rural gardens and urban areas. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.900 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on nectar, but also take various arthropods, including adult and larval insects, and spiders.

Breeding:
Wattled honeyeaters can breed all year round. The nest is woven cup made of grasses, usually well-hidden within the foliage of a tree, where the female lays 1-2 eggs. There is no information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 1-2,5 million individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to competition with introduced bird species.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

White-bellied antpitta

Grallaria hypoleuca

Photo by Scott Olmstead (Flickr)

Common name:
white-bellied antpitta (en); tuvacuçu-de-barriga-branca (pt); grallaire à ventre blanc (fr); tororoí ventriblanco (es); blassbauch-ameisenpitta (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Formicariidae

Range:
The white-bellied antpitta is found along the western slopes of the Andes, from northern Colombia to extreme northern Peru.

Size:
These birds are 16-18 cm long and weigh 62-69 g.

Habitat:
This species is mostly found on the floor and in the lower understorey of mountain rainforests, also using second growths to a lesser extent. they occur at altitudes of 1.400-2.300 m.

Diet:
They are known to eat insects, but there is little available information about their diet.

Breeding:
White-bellied antpittas breed in March-September and are presumed to be socially monogamous. The nest is a cup made of twigs and rootlets and placed in a fork in a tree about 1 m above the ground. The female lays 2 light greenish eggs with light brownish blotches. The eggs are incubated by both parents, but there is no information regarding the length of the incubation and fledging period.

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.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Painted spurfowl

Galloperdix lunulata

Photo by Rishiraj Deval (India Nature Watch)

Common name:
painted spurfowl (en); perdiz-colorida (pt); galloperdrix lunulée (fr); faisancillo moteado (es); perlspornhuhn (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

Range:
This species is endemic to India, being found south of the Gangetic Plain, from eastern Rajasthan to West Benghal and south to southern Karnataka and northern Tamil Nadu.

Size:
These birds are 27-34 cm long. Males tend to be larger than females, weighing 255-285 g, while females weigh 225-255 g.

Habitat:
The painted spurfowl is mostly found in dry scublands, including Anogeissus, Bridelia, Acacia and Mimosa, also using rocky hillsides. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 900 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seeds, berries, fruits and tubers of various plants, such as Zizyphus, Lantana and Ficus, as well as flowers and some insects.

Breeding:
Painted spurfowl breed in January-August. They are believed to be monogamous and nest on a shallow scrape on the ground, lined with leaves, and often located under the cover of a boulder. The female lays 3-5 pale creamy eggs. The female incubates the eggs alone, but both parents take care of the young. 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 locally frequent. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Cocoa thrush

Turdus fumigatus

Photo by Margareta Wieser (Nuestro bello mundo...)

Common name:
cocoa thrush (en); sabiá-da-mata (pt); merle cacao (fr); tordo acanelado (es); sabiadrossel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

Range:
This species is found in northern South America, from eastern Colombia, through Venezuela and the Guyanas and south into Brazil as far as Mato Grosso, and also in a disjunct area along the eastern coast of Brazil, from Pernambuco south to Rio de Janeiro. They also occur in the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and St. Vincent.

Size:
These birds are 21,5-24 cm long and weigh 55-83 g.

Habitat:
The cocoa thrush is mostly found in the lower and middle strata of moist tropical forests and swamp forests, but also use rivers, swamps and marshes, dry savannas, mangroves, plantations and second growths. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on ground invertebrates, such as earthworms, millipedes, ants and other insects, as well as berries and small fruits.

Breeding:
Cocoa thrushes can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is a bulky cup made of twigs, placed low in a tree branch, among epiphytes or in a bank. There the female lays 2-3 greenish-blue eggs with reddish blotches, which she incubates alone for 13 days. The chicks fledge 13-15 days after hatching. Each pair can raise 2-4 broods per year and the young reach sexual maturity after 1 year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as uncommon to fairly common. The cocoa thrush is suspected to lose 25-30% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 2 decades based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. However, given its tolerance to habitat fragmentation and degradation, and to edge-effects it is suspected to suffer just a small decline in the near future.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Patagonian tyrant

Colorhamphus parvirostris

Photo by Pablo Contreras (Flickr)

Common name:
Patagonian tyrant (en); pitajo-da-Patagónia (pt); pitajo de Patagonie (fr); peutrén (es); Patagonienschmätzertyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species breeds from Temuco, in central Chile and adjacent Argentina, south to Tierra del Fuego. Outside the breeding season they can move further north up to La Serena.

Size:
These birds are 11-14,5 cm long and weigh 10-19,5 g.

Habitat:
The Patagonian tyrant is mostly found along the edges of humid temperate forests, including Nothofagus and Quillaja, also moving inside the forests. They also use scrublands, moist tropical forests and second growths. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They usually forage alone or in pairs, mainly eating insects but also berries and small fruits such as Maytenus magellanica.

Breeding:
Patagonian tyrants breed in October-February. They nest in a cup made of grasses and moss, placed on a scrub about 1-2 m above the ground. The female lays 3 white eggs with reddish spots. 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 common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.