Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Vermiculated screech-owl

Megascops vermiculatus

Photo by Arlene Koziol (Flickr)

Common name:
vermiculated screech-owl (en); corujinha- (pt); petit-duc vermiculé (fr); autillo vermiculado (es); kritzel-kreischeule (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Strigiformes
Family Strigidae

Range:
This species is found from northern Costa Rica to Colombia, and along the Andes south to northern Bolivia. There are also separate populations in north-western Colombia and northern Venezuela, and in southern Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and extreme northern Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 20-23 cm long and weigh 90-130 g.

Habitat:
The vermiculated screech-owl is mostly found in humid tropical forests, also using dry tropical forests. They are mainly found in lowland areas, but can occur up to an altitude of 1.800 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on large insects, but possibly also some small vertebrates.

Breeding:
Vermiculated screech-owls breed in March-July. They nest in natural tree cavities, or sometimes in old nest holes of other birds such as trogons. The female lays 2-3 eggs which she mainly incubates alone for 26-37 days. There is no information regarding the fledging period, but when food is scarce the larger chicks may eat their smaller siblings.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range. There is very little information about its abundance, but its possibly not rare, at least in some areas. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Black-throated blue warbler

Dendroica caerulescens

Photo by Paul Jones (Flickr)

Common name:
black-throated blue warbler (en); felosa-azul-de-garganta-preta (pt); paruline bleue (fr); reinita azulada (es); blaurücken-waldsänger (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Parulidae

Range:
This species breeds in south-eastern Canada, from southern Ontario to Nova Scotia, and southwards into the eastern United States as far south as Tennessee and northern Georgia. they migrate south to winter in the Caribbean, from southern Florida south to Panama and Barbados.

Size:
These birds are 13 cm long and weigh about 8,5-12 g.

Habitat:
The black-throated blue warbler breeds in undisturbed deciduous and mixed-deciduous forests, particularly maple, birch, beech, hemlock, spruce and fir, favouring areas with dense understory. Outside the breeding season they also use moist tropical forests, tropical scrublands, plantation, rural gardens and urban areas.

Diet:
During the breeding season they are mainly insectivorous, taking beetles, caterpillars, butterflies, flies, bugs and spiders. During the rest of the year they complement this diet with fruits, berries and seeds.

Breeding:
These birds are generally monogamous, although extra-pair copulations are common in both sexes. The nest is built by the female, consisting of a cup made of bark, dried grasses and twigs, and lined with fur, mosses or rootlets. the nest is usually place less than 1,5 m above the ground in dense foliage. There the female lays 2-5 white eggs with dark speckles, which she incubates alone for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 8-10 days after hatching.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common. Overall the population has undergone a small increase in the last 4 decades, although some local decreases took place at the edges of the range and have been attributed to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Great potoo

Nyctibius grandis

Photo by Philip Perry (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
great potoo (en); urutau-gigante (pt); grand ibijau (fr); nictibio grande (es); riesentagschläfer (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Caprimulgiformes
Family Nyctibiidae

Range:
This species is found from extreme southern Mexico, through Central America into Colombia, Venezuela and the Guyanas, and southwards east of the Andes down to central Bolivia, northern Paraguay and south-eastern Brazil.

Size:
These birds are 45-60 cm long and have a wingspan of 70-80 cm. They weigh 320-650 g.

Habitat:
The great potoo is mostly found in the canopy of lowland rainforests, also using moist savannas, second growths and plantations.

Diet:
They hunt at night, mainly taking flying insects such as beetles, katydids and grasshoppers, but also bats.

Breeding:
Great potoos are monogamous and can possibly breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. They don't build nests, laying their single egg in a deep notch in a large tree branch. Both parents incubate the egg but there is no information regarding the length of the incubation period. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 55 days after hatching. Each pair raises a single chick per year.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and has a global population estimated at 500.000-5.000.000 individuals. There is no information on population trends, but the great potoo is estimated to lose 19-25% of suitable habitat over the next 2 decades, based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. It is therefore expected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Minas gerais tyrannulet

Phylloscartes roquettei

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:
Minas Gerais tyrannulet (en); cara-dourada (pt); tyranneau de Minas Gerais (fr); orejerito de Minas Gerais (es); gelbbürzel-laubtyrann (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Tyrannidae

Range:
This species is endemic to south-eastern Brazil, only being found in northern Minas Gerais and southern Bahia.

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

Habitat:
The Minas Gerais tyrannulet is found in dry tropical forests, riparian forests and semi-deciduous forests within cerrado including second growths and forest fragments. They occur at altitudes of 400-900 m.

Diet:
They forage in pairs or family groups, taking small arthropods from the foliage.

Breeding:
Minas Gerais tyrannulets possibly breed in October-February. The nest is a small, globular structure. There is no further information on the reproduction of this species.

Conservation:
IUCN status - EN (Endangered)
This species has a large breeding range but the global population is estimated at just 1.500-7.000 individuals. The population is suspected to be declining at a very rapid rate due to habitat loss through charcoal burning, forest cutting for pasture, cattle ranching and agricultural development. The São Francisco basin is also threatened by limestone quarrying and a large-scale irrigation project that has already resulted in the loss of large areas of forest.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Peruvian wren

Cinnycerthia peruana

Photo by Nick Athanas (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Peruvian wren (en); carriça-do-Perú (pt); troglodyte brun (fr); cucarachero peruano (es); sepiazaunkönig (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Troglodytidae

Range:
This species is endemic to Peru, being found in the eastern Andes from Amazonas to Ayacucho.

Size:
These birds are 15,5-16 cm long and weigh about 20 g.

Habitat:
The Peruvian wren is found in mountain rainforests, including forests edges and nearby second growths, at altitudes of 1.500-3.400 m.

Diet:
They forage on or near the ground, possibly taking small invertebrates.

Breeding:
Peruvian wrens possibly breed in June-February. The nest is purse-shaped and made of small roots interwoven with green moss. It is placed hanging from a bamboo. There the female lays 2 creamy-white eggs with reddish-brown spots. 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 is described as common. However, the population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Monday, 9 March 2015

Wire-crested thorntail

Discosura popelairii

Photo by Niels Dreyer (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
wire-crested thorntail (en); bandeirinha-de-Popelaire (pt); coquette de Popelaire (fr); rabudito crestado (es); haubenfadenelfe (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Apodiformes
Family Trochilidae

Range:
This species is found along the eastern slopes of the Andes, from central Colombia to southern Peru.

Size:
These birds are sexually dimorphic. The females are 7,5-8 cm long, while the males are up to 11,5 cm long including the elongated tail feathers. They weigh about 2,5 g.

Habitat:
The wire-crested thorntail is found in moist tropical forests at altitudes of 400-1.200 m.

Diet:
They feed mainly on nectar, particularly of Inga trees, but also take some arthropods.

Breeding:
The is little information about the reproduction of wire-crested thorntails. One nest was found in Colombia, in April, placed at the end of a tree branch about 8 m above the ground.

Conservation:
IUCN status - NT (Near-Threatened)
This species has a large breeding range but is described as generally rare to uncommon. Although there is no data on population trends, the wire-crested thorntail is suspected to lose 28% of suitable habitat within its range over the next decade based on a model of Amazonian deforestation, being therefore suspected to suffer a moderately rapid decline in the near future.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Mountain wren-babbler

Napothera crassa

Photo by James Eaton (Oriental Bird Images)

Common name:
mountain wren-babbler (en); zaragateiro-pequeno-montês (pt); turdinule des montagnes (fr); ratina montana (es); blasskehltimalie (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Timaliidae

Range:
This species is endemic to northern Borneo, being found along the border between Malaysia and Indonesia, and also in Brunei.

Size:
These birds are 14 cm long and weigh about 25 g.

Habitat:
The mountain wren-babbler is found in dense, moist tropical forests, mainly in mountainous areas, but also at lower altitudes.

Diet:
They feed on insects, such as grasshoppers, and small snails.

Breeding:
Mountain wren-babblers breed in February-August. They nest in a cup made of grasses, placed in moss-covered bank by a forest trail. The female lays 2 white 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 is described as uncommon in Sabah and common in Mount Kinabalu National Park and in Gunung Niut Nature Reserve. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.