Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Ashy cuckoo-shrike

Coracina cinerea

Photo by Jonas Rosquist (PBase)

Common name:
ashy cuckoo-shrike (en); lagarteiro-de-Madagáscar (pt); échenilleur malgache (fr); oruguero Malgache (es); Madagaskarraupenfänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Campephagidae

Range:
This species isfound throughout the lowland areas of Madagascar and also in the Comoros.

Size:
These birds are 22-24 cm long and weigh 40-45 g.

Habitat:
The ashy cuckoo-shrike is mostly found in low to mid-altitude tropical forests, including both moist and dry forests, gallery forests and forest edges. They also use scrublands, mangroves and second growths.

Diet:
They feed mainly on arthropods, including caterpillars, grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles, stick insects, cicadas, mantids, bugs, flies, mayflies, dragonflies and spiders, but also take small chameleons.

Breeding:
Ashy cuckoo-shrikes breed in October-March. They are socially monogamous and the nest is a
shallow bowl made of moss and lichens. It is usually placed on horizontal tree branch, over 12 m above the ground. There the female lays 1-2 eggs which are incubated by both parents, but there is no available information on the length of the incubation period. the chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 24 days after hatching.


Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common in suitable habitat in Madagascar and uncommon on the Comoros. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat destruction.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Northern goshawk

Accipiter gentilis

Photo by Johan Stenlund (PBase)

Common name:
northern goshawk (en); açor (pt); autour des palombes (fr); azor común (es); habicht (de);

Taxonomy:
Order Falconiformes
Family Accipitridae

Range:
This species is widely distributed in Eurasia and North America. It is found throughout continental Europe and in Great Britain, and also in northern Morocco, in Turkey and the Caucasus, throughout most of Russia and into northern Kazakhstan and northern Mongolia, and also in Japan, central and south-western China and marginally into northern India and northern Myanmar. In North America the northern goshawk is found throughout most of Alaska and Canada, and also in the United States as far south as California, Texas, Tennessee and Virginia, and in north-western Mexico.

Size:
These birds are 46-63 cm long and have a wingspan of 98-115. Females tend to be larger thn males, weighing 800-2.200 g while males weigh 500-1.100 g.

Habitat:
The northern goshawk is mostly found in temperate forests, particularly coniferous, but also deciduous and mixed forests. They also use boreal forests, tundra grasslands and parks with tall trees within urban areas. This species is present from sea level up to an altitude of 3.400 m.

Diet:
They mainly hunt small and medium sized birds and mammals, up to the size of a pigeon, grouse or rabbit, but also take large invertebrates and reptiles.

Breeding:
Northern goshawks breed in April-June. They are monogamous and mate for life, and both sexes help build the nest. The nest is a large structure made of sticks and twigs, and lined with leafy green twigs, conifer needles and pieces of bark. It is placed in a tree, most often a mature conifer 15-20 m above the ground. There the female lays 2-4 bluish-white eggs, which she mostly incubates alone for 28-38 days. The chicks are mostly fed by the male and fledge 34-46 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 70-90 days later. They reach sexual maturity at 1 year of age.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated to be above 500.000 individuals. The northern goshawk suffered significant declines during the 19th and early 20th century due to persecution and deforestation, but more recently the population trend appears to be stable.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Collared palm-thrush

Cichladusa arquata

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
collared palm-thrush (en); tordo-das-palmeiras-de-colar (pt); cichladuse à collier (fr); zorzal-palmero acollarado (es); morgenrötel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

Range:
This species is found from south-eastern D.R. Congo, northern Tanzania and south-eastern Kenya, through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and into north-eastern South Africa, northern Botswana and south-eastern Angola.

Size:
These birds are 17-18 cm long and weigh 28-38 g.

Habitat:
The collared palm-thrush is mostly found in dry tropical forests and scrublands with palm trees, such as such as Pheonix, Borassus and Hyphaene, most often near water. They also use dry savannas, plantations and rural gardens.

Diet:
They feed mainly on insects and other arthropods, such as bugs, beetles, grasshoppers, cockroaches, earwigs, termites, ants and centipedes. They also take small frogs.

Breeding:
Collared palm-thrushes breed in October-May. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of
a semi-circular or truncated cone-shaped structure, made of mud and grass roots, and lined with finer grass or fibres stripped from palm leaves. It is typically attached to a hanging palm leaf, or at the point where the palm frond connects to the trunk, or sometimes on dragon trees Dracaena or even on buildings. The female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 20 days after hatching.


Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as rather local and confined to its specific habitat, although often common within that habitat. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Red-tailed black-cockatoo

Calyptorhynchus banksii

Photo by Peter Strauss (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
red-tailed black-cockatoo (en);cacatua-negra-de-cauda-vermelha (pt); cacatoès banksien (fr); cacatúa colirroja (es); Banks-rabenkakadu (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Psittaciformes
Family Cacatuidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Australia. They are found in northern Australia from northern Western Australia to northern New South Wales, in south-western Victoria and south-eastern South Australia, and in south-western Western Australia.

Size:
These birds are 50-65 cm long and weigh 570-920 g.

Habitat:
The red-tailed balck-cockatoo is found in Eucalyptus woodlands, moist subtropical forests, grasslands and scrublands with scattered trees and arable land.

Diet:
They forage both in the tree canopy and on the ground, mainly feeding on seeds, but also taking fruits, nuts, flowers, bulbs and insects.

Breeding:
Red-tailed black-cockatoos breed in March-October. They are monogamous and mate for life, and if one of the birds disappears, the other may not mate again. The nest in a tree hollow, 8-15 m above the ground, which is lined with chewed and decayed wood. There the female lays 1-2 white eggs, which she incubates alone for 28-30 days. Only 1 chick will be raised, being fed by both parents and fledging 11-14 weeks after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated to be above 100.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction, but it is not threatened at present.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Cape rock-thrush

Monticola rupestris

Photo by Derek Keats (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Cape rock-thrush (en); melro-das-rochas-do-Cabo (pt); monticole rocar (fr); roquero de El Cabo (es); klippenrötel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

Range:
This species is found in southern and eastern South Africa, including Lesotho and Swaziland, and marginally into south-eastern Botswana and south-western Mozambique.

Size:
These birds are 21-22 cm long and weigh 60-64 g.

Habitat:
The Cape rock-thrush is mostly found in cliffs, rocky valleys, boulder-strewn hillsides and scree slopes, especially with scattered trees, scrubs and succulents such as Aloe sp. and Euphorbia sp. They also use dry grasslands and scrublands, and rural gardens.

Diet:They feed mainly on arthropods, such as cockroaches, termites, beetles, ants, centipedes, millipedes and spiders, fruits and seeds. They are also known to take molluscs, frogs, skinks and the nectar of Aloe ferox.


Breeding:Cape rock-thrushes breed in September-February. They are monogamous, solitary nesters, and the nest is a messy platform built of twigs, grass, roots and soil, with a cup-shaped cavity set into the top. It is typically placed in a rock crevice or on the ledge of a cliff or building. There the female lays 2-4 eggs which she incubates alone for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 16 days after hatching, becoming fully independent about 10 days later.

Conservation:

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as locally common in South Africa and Swaziland, although also locally uncommon in South Africa and uncommon in Lesotho. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Friday, 26 September 2014

African scops-owl

Otus senegalensis

Photo by Ruslou Koorts (Flickr)

Common name:
African scops-owl (en); mocho-d'orelhas-africano (pt); petit-duc africain (fr); autillo africano (es); Afrika-zwergohreule (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

Range:
This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, from southern Mauritania east to Eritrea and south to Namibia, Botswana, and northern and eastern South Africa. They are absent from the tropical forests of the Congo river basin.

Size:
These tiny owls are 15-19 cm long and have a wingspan of 40-45 cm. They weigh 45-120 g.

Habitat:
The African scops-owl is found in open savannas, dry tropical forests, scrublands, rural gardens and urban parks.

Diet:
They hunt by sallying out from a perch, taking the prey either from the ground or in flight. They mainly hunt insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, mantids, moths, crickets and cockroaches, but also take spiders, scorpions and small vertebrates such as rodents, frogs, geckos and small birds.

Breeding:
African scops-owls can breed all year round, usually starting after the local rainy season. They are monogamous and nest in a tree hole, often an old woodpecker nest. The female lays 2-6 white eggs which she incubates alone for 24-27 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 3-4 weeks after hatching, but continue to receive food from their parents for another 2 months.

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

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Black-capped white-eye

Zosterops atricapilla

Photo by Lip Kee Yap (Wikipedia)

Common name:
black-capped white-eye (en); olho-branco-de-barrete-preto (pt); zostérops à calotte noire (fr); anteojitos capirotado (es); schwarzstirn-brillenvogel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Zosteropidae

Range:
This species is found along the mountains of western Sumatra and in central and north-eastern Borneo, both in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Size:
These birds are 9,5-10 cm long and weigh 8,5-11 g.

Habitat:
The black-capped white-eye is mostly found in mountain rainforests, also using rainforests at lower altitudes and high-altitude grasslands. They are present at altitudes of 1.500-3.000 m, occasionally coming down to just 700 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on adult and larval insects, but also take fruits, berries and nectar.

Breeding:
These birds possibly breed in April-June. The nest is a small cup placed in a tree, where the female lays 2-4 pale blue eggs. 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 locally very common on high mountain tops in Sumatra. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.