Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vinous-throated parrotbill

Paradoxornis webbianus

(Photo from Natural Island, Yea! Taiwan)

Common name:
vinous-throated parrotbill (en); bico-de-papagaio-de-Webb (pt); paradoxornis de Webb (fr); picoloro de Webb (es); braunkopf-papageischnabel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Paradoxornithidae

Range:
This species is found in throughout eastern China, and into Korea and extreme south-eastern Russia, as well as Taiwan. It has also been introduced in Italy, where feral populations are becoming established.

Size:
These birds are 11-12,5 cm long and weigh 7-12 g.

Habitat:
The vinous-throated parrotbill is found in various types of scrubland, also using marshes and swamps, moist tropical forests, second growths and plantation. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 3.100 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seeds, flowers, fruits and buds, but also take insects such as grasshoppers and caterpillars.

Breeding:
These birds are monogamous and breed in April-August. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a cup made of grasses, reed strips, dry leaves, bamboo, bark, plant fibres, twigs and dry roots. It is lined with finer grasses, hairs and feathers and placed in a reed, bamboo, vine or fork in a scrub or small tree, up to 3 m above the ground. There the female lays 3-7 pale blue to turquoise eggs which are incubated by both parents for 13-15 days. The chicks are fed  by both parents and fledge 9-10 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 is described as common and very widespread. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Auckland snipe

Coenocorypha aucklandica

Photo by Kirk Zufelt (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Auckland snipe (en); narceja-austral-das-Auckland (pt); bécassine des Auckland (fr); chochita de las Auckland (es); Aucklandschnepfe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Charadriiformes
Family Scolopacidae

Range:
This species is endemic to New Zealand, where it is found on the Auckland Islands, the Antipodes Islands and Jacquemart Island in the Campbell Island group.

Size:
These birds are 21-24 cm long and have a wingspan of 30-35 cm. They weigh 80-130 g.

Habitat:
The Auckland snipe is found in areas with dense ground cover, including tussock grasslands on cliff tops and moist scrubland.

Diet:
They feed mainly on soil invertebrates, such as earthworms, amphipods, adult and larval insects and fly larvae and pupae.

Breeding:
Auckland snipes are mainly monogamous and polygyny also takes place. They breed in August-April. They nest on the ground, where the female lays 2 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for about 22 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and often each chick follows one of the parents who protects and feeds it for 41-65 days.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a small breeding range and the global population is estimated at 20.000-50.000 individuals. The Auckland snipe was affected by introduced predators, but current efforts to eradicate these predators and reintroduce the species to the Campbell islands halted previous population declines. In past there were local extinctions in several islands, due to the introduction of Pacific rats Rattus exulans, cats, pigs and wekas Gallirallus australis which prey on their eggs and young.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Dusky-tailed antbird

Drymophila malura

Photo by Dario Sanches (Wikipedia)




Common name:

dusky-tailed antbird (en); choquinha-carijó (pt); grisin malure (fr); tiluchí estriado oriental (es); olivrücken-ameisenfänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

Range:
This species is found in south-eastern Brazil, from Minas Gerais south to northern Rio Grande do Sul, and into eastern Paraguay and extreme north-eastern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 13,5-14,5 cm long and weigh 11-13 g.

Habitat:
The dusky-tailed antbird is found on the understorey of moist tropical forests, mainly in lowland areas, but also in mountainous areas up to an altitude of 1.900 m.

Diet:
They feed on insects and possibly also spiders.

Breeding:
There is no available information regarding the reproduction of this species.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a 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.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Fawn-breasted bowerbird

Chlamydera cerviniventris

Photo by Dick Daniels (Wikipedia)

Common name:
fawn-breasted bowerbird (en); jardineiro-de-peito-fulvo (pt); jardinier à poitrine fauve (fr); pergolero pechipardo (es); braunbauch-laubenvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Ptilonorhynchidae

Range:
This species is found in north-western and eastern New Guinea, and also in northern Queensland, Australia.

Size:
These birds are about 30 cm long. The males tend to be larger than females, weighing 145-182 g while the females weigh 117-170 g.

Habitat:
The fawn-breasted bowerbird is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using mangroves, dry savannas, dry scrublands, plantations, rural gardens and even urban areas. they occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

Diet:
They feed on fruits and insects, including beetles and caterpillars.

Breeding:
Fawn-breasted bowerbirds can breed all year round. They are polygynous, with males building elaborate bowers where they display to attract females. After matting the female builds the nest, a fairly large bowl made of sticks, vine tendrils and bark strips, which is lined with finer twigs and sometimes grass stems. The nest is placed in a tree or scrub, up to 10 m above the ground. There the female lays a 1-2 cream or pale olive green eggs with brownish markings which she incubates alone, but there is no information on the length of the incubation period. the chicks fledge about 3 weeks after hatching.

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

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Erckel's francolin

Pternistis erckelii

Photo by Jim Denny (Flickr)

Common name:
Erckel's francolin (en); francolim-de-Erckell (pt); francolin d'Erckel (fr); francolín de Erckel (es); Erckelfrankolin (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

Range:
This species is found in Eritrea, northern Ethiopia and eastern Sudan.

Size:
These birds are 39-43 cm long and weigh 1.050-1.590 g.

Habitat:
The Erckel's francolin is mostly found in high-altitude scrublands, favouring areas dominated by Carissa, Rumex, Maytenus and Rosa, but also use moist tropical forests, rivers and stream. They occur at altitudes of 2.000-3.500 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seeds, shoots and berries, but also take some insects.

Breeding:
Erckel's francolins breed in April-November and are believed to be monogamous. They nest in a scrape in the ground, where the female lays 4-10 eggs. The eggs are incubated for 21-23 days and the chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and follow the mother around while being able to feed themselves.

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

Monday, 23 February 2015

Island monarch

Monarcha cinerascens

Photo by Joseph Monkhouse (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
island monarch (en); monarca-ilhéu (pt); monarque des ilês (fr); monarca isleño (es); graukopfmonarch (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

Range:
This species is found in the islands of eastern Indonesia, west of New Guinea, including Timor, Sulawesi, the Moluccas and the Lesser Sundas, and also on the islands off northern and eastern New Guinea and in the Solomon islands.

Size:
These birds are 16,5-19 cm long and weigh about 30 g.

Habitat:
The island monarch is mostly found in moist tropical forests, in low hills and lower mountainous areas. They also use coastal dry scrublands and plantations.

Diet:
They feed primarily on small invertebrates, such as ants, small cockroaches, grasshoppers, thrips and springtails, also eating fruits such as wild figs.

Breeding:
Island monarchs can possibly breed all year round. The nest is a bulky cup made of dried grass, plant fibres, black vine tendrils and moss, and is placed on a sloping fork of a scrub or small tree 6-17 m above the ground or over water. The female lays 1-2 eggs, but there is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

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

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Beautiful jay

Cyanolyca pulchra

Photo by Andrew Spencer (Facebook)

Common name:
beautiful jay (en); gaio-formoso (pt); geai superbe (fr); chara hermosa (es); schmuckhäher (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae

Range:
This species is found in the western slopes of the Andes, from central Colombia to northern Ecuador.

Size:
These birds are about 27 cm long.

Habitat:
The beautiful jay is found in subtropical rainforests, favouring areas with dense understorey, particularly along watercourses and in marshy areas. They occur at altitudes of 900-2.300, favouring dense

Diet:
They forage on the forest understorey, taking arthropods such as grasshoppers, dragonflies, butterflies, spider, centipedes, ticks and mites.

Breeding:
Beautiful jays breed in March-June. They nest in a cup made of sticks and moss, and lined with fine plant fibres, which is placed in a small tree or scrub, about 3 m above the ground. The female lays 2 eggs. there is no information regarding the incubation period, but the chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 24 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a relatively large breeding range, but is described as rare and patchily distributed. The population is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate due to ongoing habitat loss. The beautiful jay is extremely sensitive to human disturbance and appears almost exclusively dependent upon primary forest which are threatened by unplanned colonisation following the completion of roads, and massive logging concessions, as well as cattle-grazing, mining and coca and palm cultivation. In Chocó, 40% of all forests have been cleared or degraded since the 1960s.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Long-tailed duck

Clangula hyemalis

Photo by Wolfgang Wander (Wikipedia)

Common name:
long-tailed duck (en); pato-de-cauda-afilada (pt); harelde kakawi (fr); pato havelda (es); eisente (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Anseriformes
Family Anatidae

Range:
This species breeds in northernmost latitudes of Eurasia and North America, from Iceland, Scandinavia and the Baltic, throughout northern Russia, and into Alaska, northern Canada and western and southern Greenland. They migrate south along the coasts of the Atlantic and the Pacific, as far south as the British Isles, Korea and northern Japan, south-western British Columbia and Virginia.

Size:
These birds are sexually dimorphic, with males being larger than females. The males are 51-60 cm long, including the 15 cm long tail, and weigh 650-900 g. Females are 37-47 cm long and weigh 550-800g. They have a wingspan of 73-79 cm.

Habitat:
The long-tailed duck breeds on small tundra lakes, pools, bogs, rivers, tundra grasslands and coastal sites of the high Arctic. Outside the breeding season they are mostly found at sea, usually in shallow offshore waters, but also in estuaries, brackish lagoons and freshwater lakes.

Diet:
They feed mainly on crustaceans, molluscs, and other marine invertebrates such as echinoderms and worms, but also fishes, insects and plant material such as algae, grasses, and the seeds and fruits of tundra plants.

Breeding:
Long-tailed ducks are monogamous and breed in May-August. They nest in a bowl-shaped scrape on the ground, made by the female and lined with grasses, leaves and feather down. It is usually placed on dry ground, hidden among rocks or under plant growth. The female lays 5-10 pale grey to olive eggs, which she incubates alone for 24-30 days while the male helps defend the nest. During the incubation period the males leave and begin moulting, and female must finish incubation alone. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and are able to feed themselves, but rely on the females for protection. They start flying at 35-40 days of age. They reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - VU (Vulnerable)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 6,2-6,8 million individuals, but the population has declined dramatically in recent decades, especially in the Baltic, overall possibly declining by 50% over the last 3 decades. The long-tailed duck is threatened by wetland habitat degradation and loss from petroleum pollution, wetland drainage and peat-extraction, while also suffering direct mortality from oil pollution, drowning through entanglement in fishing nets, hunting on migration routes over certain regions of the Arctic, and outbreaks of avian cholera. Changes in the natural cycles of the Arctic, due to climate change, have also possibly reduced the breeding success of this species, as declines in rodent populations force predators to increase pressure on young birds.

Friday, 20 February 2015

White-browed tit-warbler

Leptopoecile sophiae

Photo by Andrey Kovalenko (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
white-browed tit-warbler (en); chapim-de-Sophie (pt); mésange de Sophie (fr); carbonerito de Sophie (es); purpurhähnchen (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

Range:
This species is found in central China and along the Himalayas mountain range into north-western China, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and marginally into northern India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Size:
These birds are 8,5-10 cm long and weigh 6-8 g.

Habitat:
The white-browed tit-warbler is found in mountain temperate forests and scrublands, at altitudes of 2.200-5.000 m.

Diet:
They hunt small insects, including butterflies, gasshoppers and flies, and spiders, while also taking some seeds and berries during autumn and winter.
Breeding:

These birds breed in April-August. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of  a domed structure with an entrance near the top, made of moss, grass stems, hairy seeds animal hair, which is lined with the feathers and hairs, and placed in a scrub, up to 3 m above the ground. The female lays 4-6 whitish eggs with reddish-brown spots which are incubated by both sexes for 16-23 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 14-21 days.

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

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Red-cheeked parrot

Geoffroyus geoffroyi

Photo by Mehd Halaouate (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
red-cheeked parrot (en); papagaio-de-faces-vermelhas (pt); perruche de Geoffroy (fr); lorito carirrojo (es); rotkopfpapagei (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae

Range:
This species is found in New Guinea and in other islands of eastern Indonesia including the Moluccas, the Lesser Sundas and Timor. There is also a population in the Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland, Australia.

Size:
These birds are 21-27 cm long and weigh 130-180 g.

Habitat:
The red-cheeked parrot is found in lowland rainforests, mangroves, swamp forests, dry tropical forests, scrublands, pastures, plantations and second growths. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 800 m, and occasionally up to 1.400 m.

Diet:
They feed on seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, flower buds and blossom.

Breeding:
Red-cheeked parrots can probably breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. They nest in a hole excavated by the female on a rotting tree limb, where she lays 2-4 eggs. There is no available information regarding the incubation and fledging periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be common to abundant, with a global population possibly above 1 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Cinereous ground-tyrant

Muscisaxicola cinereus

Photo by Cristian Pinto (ArgentAvis)

Common name:
cinereous ground-tyrant (en); gaúcha-cinza (pt); dormilon cendré (fr); dormilona cenicienta (es); graubraun-grundtyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is found along the Andes mountain range, from southern Peru down to central Chile and western Argentina as far south as Chillán.

Size:
These birds are 15-17 cm long and weigh about 20 g.

Habitat:
The cinereous ground-tyrant is mostly found in high-altitude scrublands and grasslands, such as puna grasslands, also using rocky areas, pastures, rivers and streams, lakes and bogs.

Diet:
They forage mainly on the ground, taking adult and larval insects.

Breeding:
These birds breed in September-March. The nest is built by the female alone, consisting of a cup made of twigs, dry herbs and roots, and lined with feather down, wool and hairs. It is placed in a cliff or rocky crevice. The female lays 2-3 whitish eggs with reddish-brown spots, which she incubates alone for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and feldge 19-21 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.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Ultramarine flycatcher

Ficedula superciliaris

Photo by Michael Gillam (Flickr)

Common name:
ultramarine flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-azul-ultramarino (pt); gobemouche ultramarin (fr); papamoscas ultramarino (es); brauenschnäpper (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

Range:
This species breeds from eastern Afghanistan, through the Himalayas mountain range and into southern China. They migrate south to winter in southern China, Myanmar, northern Thailand and central and north-eastern India.

Size:
These birds are 11,5-12 cm long and weigh 8 g.

Habitat:
The ultramarine flycatcher breed mainly in mountain broadleaved forests, also using pine forests, at altitudes of 1.800-3.200 m. Outside the breeding season they use both moist and dry tropical forests, dry savannas and man-made habitats such as plantations, arable land, rural gardens and urban areas.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects, such as flies and beetles.

Breeding:
Ultramarine flycatchers breed in April-July. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a cup made of moss, bark strips and grass, lined with hairs, rootlets and plant fibres, and placed in a tree hole, depression on a bank or in a nest box up to 7 m above the ground. The female lays 3-5 olive greenish to dull stone-buff eggs with reddish-brown freckles. 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 common and widespread to uncommon. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Pheasant coucal

Centropus phasianinus

Photo by James Niland (Flickr)

Common name:
pheasant coucal (en); cucal-faisão (pt); coucal faisan (fr); cucal faisán (es); fasanspornkuckuck (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Cuculiformes
Family Cuculidae

Range:
This species is found in northern and eastern Australia, as far south as Sidney, and also in the lowlands of Papua New-Guinea and in the island of Timor both in Timor Leste and Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are 50-80 cm long and weigh 200-500 g.

Habitat:
The pheasant coucal is found in moist tropical forests, tropical scrublands, mangroves, riverine vegetation and the margins of swamps and marshes.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, taking large insects such as grasshoppers, stink bugs, mantids, stick insects and caterpillars, mus crabs, frogs, lizards, the eggs and young of other birds, and sometimes also small mammals.

Breeding:
Pheasant coucals breed in September-May. They are monogamous and form long lasting pairs. The nest is built mainly be the male and consists of bowl or a platform of sticks, grass or rushes, lined with leaves and grasses. It is placed among tall grasses or scrubs and the stems overhead are often tied together to make a canopy. The female lays 2-5 white eggs, which the male incubates alone for 15 days. The chicks are mainly fed by the male, but with some help from the female, and fledge about 13 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be common near the coast, but rarer near arid areas. Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Sierra Madre sparrow

Xenospiza baileyi

Photo by Miguel Manzo (NaturaLista)

Common name:
Sierra Madre sparrow (en); escrevedeira-serrana (pt); bruant des sierras (fr); sabanero serrano (es); sierraammer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Emberizidae

Range:
This species is endemic to central Mexico, where it only occurs in two disjunct areas, one in Distrito federal, near Mexico City, and another in southern Durango.

Size:
These birds are 14-15 cm long and weigh 16-19 g.

Habitat:
The Sierra Madre sparrow is found in high-altitude grasslands, scrublands and pastures, favouring areas dominated by Muhlenbergia macroura, M. affinis, Festuca amplissima and Stipa ichu which are subject to agriculture and cattle activities. They occur at altitudes of 2.300-3.050 m.

Diet:
They feed on on moths, caterpillars, flying ants, earthworms, beetles, spiders, grass seeds, and sown oat seeds.

Breeding:
These birds breed in June-September. The female builds the nest, a cup made of coarse grasses and forbs, lined with fine grasses, rootlets and hairs, and placed on or near the ground, among grass clumps. There she lays 2-4 pale greenish-blue eggs with blackish spots and flecks, which she incubates alone for 15-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 9-12 days after hatching, but remain near the nest for another 2 weeks.

Conservation:
IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a very small and fragmented breeding range, and the global population is estimated at 2.500-10.000 individuals. Although the global population trend as not been accurately estimated, suitable habitat within their range as possibly declined by nearly 50% over the last decade, suggesting the Sierra Madre sparrow is declining rapidly. Habitat loss is mainly caused by widespread burning to promote new growth of grazing pasture for sheep and cattle, but conversion for agriculture and urban encroachment are also problematic.  There is also a high level of nest failure owing to heavy predation which may be exacerbated by habitat fragmentation. Since 2008, a conservation project has endeavoured to preserve and restore the species habitat with the involvement of landowners and managers.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Copper-rumped hummingbird

Amazilia tobaci

(Photo from Wikipedia)

Common name:
copper-rumped hummingbird (en); beija-flor-de-uropígio-acobreado (pt); ariane de Félicie (fr); amazilia de Tobago (es); kupferbürzelamazilie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found throughout most of northern, central and eastern Venezuela, as well as in Trinidad and Tobago.

Size:
These birds are 8,5-11 cm long and weigh 4-5 g.

Habitat:
The copper-rumped hummingbird is found in all forest habitats available within its range, including gallery forests, rainforests, cloudforests, mangroves and dry savannas. They also use second growths, plantation, rural gardens and urban areas. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on the nectar of a wide range of plants, particularly Erythrina and Calliandra.

Breeding:
Copper-rumped hummingbirds breed in November-July. They are polygynous, with males mating with multiple females and having no further part in the breeding process. The female builds the nest alone, a tiny cup made of plant fibres and moss, and lined with soft plant fibres, hairs and feather down. It is usually placed on an horizontal branch, low in a tree or scrub. She lays 2 white eggs which she incubated alone for 16-17 days. The chicks fledge 19-23 days after hatching. Each female can raise yp to 3 broods per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common.

Friday, 13 February 2015

African golden weaver

Ploceus subaureus

Photo by Guy Poisson (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
African golden weaver (en); tecelão-amarelo (pt); tisserin jaune (fr); tejedor dorado africano (es); goldweber (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Ploceidae

Range:
This species is found in East Africa, from south-eastern Kenya, through Tanzania and Mozambique, and into Swaziland and south-eastern South Africa.

Size:
This species is about 15 cm long. Males tend to be larger than females, weighing 30-39 g while females weigh 22-31 g.

Habitat:
The African golden weaver is mostly found in river flood plains, coastal plains, estuaries and lowland river valleys, being restricted to reedbeds and adjacent riverine vegetation during the breeding season, but also else wet and flooded grasslands during the rest of the year. they occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.300 m.

Diet:
They feed on seeds, insects and nectar, particularly grass seeds including rice, termite alates and nectar of Aloe and Erythrina. They are also known to eat flower of wild tobacco Nicotiana glauca.

Breeding:
African golden weavers breed in September-April. They are possibly polygynous and nest in colonies of up to 50 nests, sometimes together with other weavers. The males build multiple nests, spherical structures woven from grass stems, attached to reeds 1-2 m above the water and lined with. When a female selects a nest, she lines it with softer grass and lays 2-4 eggs. She incubates the eggs alone. The chicks fledge 19-22 days after hatching.

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

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Chinese pond-heron

Ardeola bacchus

Photo by Foozi Saad (Trek Nature)

Common name:
Chinese pond-heron (en); papa-ratos-da-China (pt); crabier chinois (fr); garcilla china (es); Bacchusreiher (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Ciconiiformes 
Family Ardeidae

Range:
This species breeds throughout the eastern half of China, as well as in Korea, Japan, Taiwan and marginally into extreme south-eastern Russia. They migrate south to winter from southern China south to the Philippines and northern Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are 42-52 cm long and have a wingspan of 79-90 cm. They weigh about 370 g.

Habitat:
The Chinese pond-heron is found in a wide range of wetland habitats, including rice fields, swamps and marshes, freshwater lakes, river banks, saltmarshes and mangroves, also using dry grasslands.

Diet:
They feed on small frogs, fishes, worms, snails, both aquatic and terrestrial insects, crabs and even small birds.

Breeding:
Chinese pond-herons breed in April-August. They nest in small colonies, sometimes with other herons species, each pair building a large bowl made of small twigs and lined with grasses and leaves, fairly high up in a tree. There the female lays 4-5 blue green eggs which are incubated by both parents for 18-22 days. The chicks fledge about 30 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 the global population is very roughly estimated at 25.000-1.000.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

White-necked myna

Streptocitta albicollis

Photo by Ethan Chan (Flickr)

Common name:
white-necked myna (en); mainá-pescoço-branco (pt); streptocitte à cou blanc (fr); miná cuelliblanco (es); weißhalsatzel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sturnidae

Range:
This species is endemic to the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia.

Size:
These birds are about 50 cm long, including the 25-30 cm long tail.


Habitat:
The white-necked myna is mostly found in moist tropical forests, also using swamp forests and moist scrublands.

Diet:
They feed mainly on fruits, but also take some invertebrate and, occasionally, small vertebrates such as lizards.

Breeding:
White-necked mynas are believed to be monogamous and breed in September-November. They are known to nest is holes on dead trees, but there is no further information on the reproduction of this species.

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

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)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thraupidae

Range:
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.

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

Habitat:
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.

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

Breeding:
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.

Conservation:
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.

Monday, 9 February 2015

White-eared barbet

Stactolaema leucotis

Photo by Johan van Rensburg (Wikipedia)

Common name:
white-eared barbet (en); barbaças-de-orelhas-brancas (pt); barbican oreillard (fr); barbudo orejiblanco (es); weißohr-bartvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Piciformes
Family Capitonidae

Range:
This species occur in two disjunct areas in eastern Africa. The subspecies S.l. kilimensis is found in central and south-eastern Kenya, and in north-eastern Tanzania, while subspecies S.l. leucotis is found from Malawi and northern Mozambique, through eastern Zimbabwe and into Swaziland and north-eastern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 17-18 cm long and weigh 48-63 g.

Habitat:
The white-eared barbet is mostly found in moist tropical forests, including Brachystegia and Uapaca forests and woodlands, also using plantations and rural gardens. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.600 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on fruits, especially wild figs but also other small fruits and berries and domesticated fruits such as guavas, papaws and mangoes. They also take some insects, especially during the breeding season, including termite alates, grasshoppers, dragonflies, cicadas, roaches, wasps and hornets.

Breeding:
White-eared barbets breed in June-March. They are monogamous, cooperative breeders, with the breeding pair being helped by up to 6 helpers. The nest is excavated by both parents and helpers, consisting of a hole on the underside of a dead tree branch. The female lays 3-6 eggs, which are incubated by both parents and helpers for 14-18 days. The chicks fledge about 39 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be locally common to uncommon. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to removal of dead trees which are required for nesting and roosting, and habitat fragmentation.