Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Fiery-throated hummingbird

Panterpe insignis

Photo by Joseph Boone (Wikipedia)

Common name:
fiery-throated hummingbird (en); colibri-garganta-de-fogo (pt); colibri insigne (fr); colibrí insigne (es); feuerkehlkolibri (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found along Cordillera de Guanacaste and Cordillera de Tilarán, from northern Costa Rica to western Panama.

Size:
These birds are 10,5-11 cm long. The females are smaller than males, weighing 5 g while males weigh 6 g.

Habitat:
The fiery-throated in mostly found in moist tropical forests in mountainous areas, including cloud forests and elfin forests, also using timberline scrublands and grasslands, second growths and pastures. They occur at altitudes of 1.400-3.200 m.

Diet:
They feed on the nectar, visiting the flowers of various epyphytes, particularly ericads, bromeliads and gesneriads, as well as those of scrubs and small trees such as Centropogon valerii and Gaiadendron.

Breeding:
Fiery-throated hummingbirds breed in August-January. Males are territorial and will mate with multiple females, having no further part in the breeding process. The female builds the nest, a bulky cup made of treefern scales and plant down woven together with cobwebs and heavily decorate the outside with moss and lichens. It is placed usually placed at the end of a drooping bamboo stems or rootlets overhanging a bank, 2-4 m above the ground. There she lays 2 white eggs which she incubates for 14-19 days. She raises the chicks alone and they fledge 18-28 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a relatively small breeding range, but is described as common to abundant over most this range. There is no information on population trends, but there are no known relevant threats at present. However, due to its mountainous distribution, global warming may in the future restrict their range to higher altitudes.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Streak-capped antwren

Terenura maculata

Photo by Luíz Ribenboim (ICMBio)

Common name:
streak-capped antwren (en); zidedê (pt); grisin à tête rayée (fr); tiluchí enano (es); rostrücken-ameisenfänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Thamnophilidae

Range:
This is found in south-eastern Brazil, from Bahia south to Parana and Santa Catarina, and marginally into south-eastern Paraguay and north-eastern Argentina.

Size:
These birds are 9-10 cm long and weigh about 7 g.

Habitat:
The streak-capped antwren is found in the canopy and mid-storey of rainforests and second growths, from sea level up to an altitude of 1.250 m.

Diet:
They feed on small insects and spiders.

Breeding:
They nest in a small pending cup-nest, but nothing else is known about their reproduction.

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.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Asian glossy starling

Aplonis panayensis

Photo by Yap Lip Kee (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Asian glossy starling (en); estorninho-bronzeado (pt); stourne bronzé (fr); estornino bronceado (es); Malaienstar (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sturnidae

Range:
This species is found in southern Bangladesh and extreme eastern India, through southern Myanmar and southern Thailand and into southern Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and the Indonesian islands of Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi.

Size:
These birds are 20 cm long and weigh 50-60 g.

Habitat:
The Asian glossy starling is mostly found in moist tropical forests and plantations, often along forest edges and in forest clearings. They also use second growths, mangroves and other coastal vegetation, arable land, rural gardens and even urban areas. they are present from sea level up to an altitude of 700 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on fruits, but also take berries, nuts, nectar and arthropods such as adult and larval beetles, caterpillars, mole crickets, grasshoppers and spiders.

Breeding:
Asian glossy starlings breed in January-August, varying among different parts of their range. They are probably monogamous and can nest either in solitary pairs or in colonies. They nest in cavities, using natural cavities, old woodpecker nests and holes in cliffs or banks, as well as nest boxes. Inside the hole they build a rough cup made of roots, grass and leaves, where the female lays 3 bluish eggs with dark markings. there is no available information on the incubation and fledgling periods.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

White-faced quail-dove

Geptrygon albifacies

Photo by Michael Retter (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
white-faced quail-dove (en); juriti-de-faces-brancas (pt); colombe des nuages (fr); paloma-perdiz cariblanca (es); sclatertaube (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae

Range:
This species is found from central and southern Mexico south to northwestern Nicaragua.

Size:
These birds are 28-36 cm long and weigh 180-300 g.

Habitat:
The white-faced quail-dove is found in humid evergreen and pine evergreen mountain forests, also using shade coffee plantations. They occur at altitudes of 1.000-2.700 m.

Diet:
They possibly feed on fallen fruits, seeds and perhaps also insects and other small invertebrates, like other similar quail-doves.

Breeding:
These birds can possibly breed all year round, but with a peak in March-June. The nest is a frail platform of sticks, well concealed among the forest undergrowth, 0,5-6 m above the ground. There the female lays 2 pale buff eggs, which are incubated for 11-13 days. There is no information regarding the fledgling period.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 50.000-500.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction in many parts of their range.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

House finch

Carpodacus mexicanus

Photo by John Benson (Wikipedia)

Common name:
house finch (en); peito-rosado-doméstico (pt); roselin familier (fr); carpodaco doméstico (es); hausgimpel (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Fringillidae

Range:
This species is originates from Mexico, the western United States and southern British Columbia and Alberta in Canada. They were introduced in New York in the 1940s and have since colonized eastern North America as far south as northern Florida and as far north as southern Quebec and Ontario, and east to Minnesota, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Size:
These birds are 12,5-15 cm long and have a wingspan of 20-25 cm. They weigh 16-27 g.

Habitat:
The house finch is mostly found in dry scrublands and grasslands, but also in human-created habitats such as pastures, plantations, arable land and rural gardens. Tey are present from sea level up to an altitude of 3.000 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on seeds, buds, fruits and berries, including wild mustard seeds, knotweed, thistle, mulberry, poison oak, cactus, and many other wild species, as well as cultivated plants such as cherries, apricots, peaches, pears, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and figs. They also take a few insects.

Breeding:
House finches breed in March-August. They are monogamous and the female builds the nest, a shallow cup made of fine stems, grasses, leaves, rootlets, thin twigs, string, wool, and feathers, with similar, but finer materials for the lining. It can be placed in a tree, scrub, cactus, rock ledge or building. The female lays 2-6 bluish or greenish-white with fine black and pale purple speckles, which she incubates alone for 13-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 12-19 days after hatching. Each pair can raise up to 3 broods per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 21 million individuals. The  population has undergone a large increase of 16% per decade over the last 4 decades.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Whistling heron

Syrigma sibilatrix

Photo by Ken Erickson (Wikipedia)

Common name:
whistling heron (en); maria-faceira (pt); héron flûte-su-soleil (fr); garza chiflona (es); pfeifreiher (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Ciconiiformes
Family Ardeidae

Range:
This South American species has two subspecies with disjunct distributions. S.s. fostersmithi is found in eastern Colombia and in northern and western Venezuela, while S.s. sibilatrix is found from Bolivia and adjacent western Brazil, east to southern Minas Gerais and south through Paraguay and Uruguay into north-eastern Argentina as far as Mar del Plata.

Size:
These birds are 50-64 cm long and weigh 370-545 g.

Habitat:
The whistling heron is mostly found in wet grasslands, but also uses dry grasslands and savannas, marshes and swamps, and pastures. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

Diet:
They mainly hunt invertebrates, including grasshoppers, dragonfly larvae, stick insects, mantids, beetles, caterpillars, various flying insects, spiders and earthworms, but also take small vertebrates such as frogs, tadpoles, eels and other small fish, and aquatic snakes.

Breeding:
Whistling herons breed in April-January, varying among different parts of their range. They nest either in solitary pairs or in scattered colonies. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a loose, unlined platform of twigs placed on a thick horizontal branch of a mature tree, 3-11 m above the ground. The female lays 1-4 pale blue eggs with dark speckles, which are incubated for about 28 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 1 month after hatching, but usually only 2 chicks survive until fledging.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as locally common but patchily distributed. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats and S.s. sibilatrix it appears to be expanding its range northwards across the Brazilian cerrado.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Cut-throat finch

Amadina fasciata

Photo by Philip Perry (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
cut-throat finch (en); degolado (pt); amadine cou-coupé (fr); estrilda degollada (es); bandamadine (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Estrildidae

Range:
This species is found along the Sahel belt, from Senegal and southern Mauritania east through Mali, northern Burkina Faso, southern Niger, northern Nigeria, Southern Chad and into southern Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Also along East Africa from Ethiopia to Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and north-eastern South Africa.

Size:
These birds are 11-12 cm long and weigh 15-32 g.

Habitat:
The cut-throat finch is mostly found in dry savannas, particularly Acacia sp. and Colophospermum mopane, also using dry tropical grasslands and scrublands. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.100 m.

Diet:
They forage on the ground, usually in small groups, taking various grass seeds and termites.

Breeding:
Cut-throat finches breed in August-May, varying among different parts of their range. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting a ball of grass with a short entrance tunnel, lined with feathers. It is typically placed in an old nest of a Ploceus weaver, red-billed buffalo weaver Bubalornis niger, red-headed weaver Anaplectes rubriceps, or of a woodpecker, occasionally also using holes in fence posts. The female lays 2-7 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for 12-13 days. The chicks fledge 18-23 days after hatching.

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