Month: April 2014

Tawny-capped Euphonia (Euphonia anneae)

The Tawny-capped Euphonia (Euphonia anneae) is a species of bird in the Fringillidae family. It is found in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and heavily degraded former forest.

Tawny-capped Euphonias mostly feed on various tree-borne fruits. In particular, they are known to feed on mistletoe berries. Their gut is specially adapted for mistletoe berries, which are poisonous.

These finches tend to move to places where mistletoe berries are the most abundant. They are most commonly seen in small groups foraging in their favored feeding areas.

Euphonias are known for their almost constant singing. Their best known calls sound like “Pe-we,” “see-see,” and “beem-beem”.

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)

The Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) formerly known in North America as the Louisiana Heron, is a small heron. It is a resident breeder from the Gulf states of the USA and northern Mexico south through Central America and theCaribbean to central Brazil and Peru. There is some post-breeding dispersal to well north of the nesting range.

Tricolored Heron’s breeding habitat is sub-tropical swamps. It nests in colonies, often with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. In each clutch, 3–7 eggs are typically laid.

This species measures from 56 to 76 cm (22 to 30 in) long, and has a wingspan of 96 cm (38 in). The slightly larger male heron weighs 415 g (14.6 oz) on average, while the female averages 334 g (11.8 oz). It is a medium-large, long-legged, long-necked heron with a long pointed yellowish or greyish bill with a black tip. The legs and feet are dark.

Adults have a blue-grey head, neck, back and upperwings, with a white line along the neck. The belly is white. In breeding plumage, they have long blue filamentous plumes on the head and neck, and buff ones on the back.

Tricolored Heron stalks its prey in shallow or deeper water, often running as it does so. It eats fish, crustaceans, reptiles, and insects.

Purplish-mantled Tanager (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus)

The Purplish-mantled Tanager (Iridosornis porphyrocephalus) is a species of bird in the Thraupidae family. It is found in Colombia and Ecuador. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests and heavily degraded former forest. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Inhabiting mossy forest and second-growth woodland, the Purplish-mantled Tanager is a fairly social species that can be found in pairs, mixed species flocks, or individually. With its rich purplish-blue back and contrasting yellow throat, this species is unlikely to be confused with any other tanagers within its range. Traveling individually, in pairs, or small family groups, this species forages mainly on insects; however, there have been observations of these species eating berries as well. Due to this species’ small range, unknown population status, and threats of habitat loss and conversion for cattle-grazing, the Purplish-mantled Tanager has been listed as near threatened on IUCN’s Watchlist.

Booted Racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii)

The Booted Racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii) is a species of hummingbird. It is found in the Andean cordillera of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. A population also occurs on the Venezuelan coast. This is the only species in the monotypic genus Ocreatus.

The upperparts are a golden green colour and the rump has a white bar. The throat and breast are a brilliant emerald green. The legs are feathered down to the feet with horny white short feathers. The tail is brownish black and deeply forked. The tail feathers on either side increase in length from the centre and the outermost ones are exceptionally long and have bare shafts tipped by oval plumes, which gives the species its common name.

Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

The Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae. It, and similar small European species, are often called chats.

It is a migratory insectivorous species breeding in wet birch wood or bushy swamp in Europe and Asia with a foothold in western Alaska. It nests in tussocks or low in dense bushes. It winters in north Africa and the Indian Subcontinent.

The Bluethroat is similar in size to the European Robin at 13–14 cm. It is plain brown above except for the distinctive black tail with red side patches. It has a strong white supercilium. The male has an iridescent blue bib edged below with successive black, white and rust coloured borders. Some races, such as L. svecica svecica (Red-spotted Bluethroat) of northern Eurasia, have a red spot in the centre of the blue bib.

Others, such as L. svecica cyanecula (White-spotted Bluethroat) of southern and central Europe, have a white spot in the centre of the blue bib. L. svecica magna in Turkey has no central spot.

Females of all races usually have just a blackish crescent on an otherwise cream throat and breast. Newly fledged juveniles are freckled and spotted dark brown above.

Despite the distinctive appearance of the males, recent genetic studies show only limited variation between the forms, and confirm that this is a single species.

The male has a varied and very imitative song. Its call is a typical chat “chack” noise.

Beach Bum Parakeet (Parakeetus Surfist)

The Beach Bum Parakeet (Parakeetus Surfist), is much like other parakeets, but is only found on the beaches of Santa Cruz in Northern California. Not to confused with distant and not as good, cousin found in on the beaches of Huntington Beach in Southern California. These guys are much cooler and way more rad. Though the cousins in Southern California claim they are better, we all know nothing compares to the Beaches in Santa Cruz.

Swallow-tailed Hummingbird (Eupetomena macroura)

The Swallow-tailed Hummingbird (Eupetomena macroura) is a species in the hummingbird family (Trochilidae), found mainly in east-central South America. Most authorities place it in the monotypic genus Eupetomena, although some place it inCampylopterus based on song and the thick shafts of the males’ first primaries. Its common name and specific epithet (which means “large-tailed”) both refer to the long, deeply forked, somewhat swallow-like tail.

With a total length of 15–17 cm (6-6½ in), nearly half of which is made up by the tail, and weighing up to 9 g (0.32 oz), this is a relatively large hummingbird. Indeed, in much of its range it is the largest species of typical hummingbird. Its wings are also nearly 8 cm long – quite much for its size by hummingbird standards –, though its bill is only of mediocre length, with c.21 mm (0.83 in) not longer in absolute terms than that of many smaller relatives.

Its plumage is brilliant iridescent green, with a blue head, upper chest, tail and vent. The tiny white spot behind the eye, common among hummingbirds, is often not visible in this species, but the white ankle tufts, also common among the Trochilinae, are well-developed. The remiges are blackish-brown. It has a slightly decurved medium-long black bill. The sexes are very similar, but females are about one-fourth smaller and slightly duller than males on average. Immature birds appear like females, but their heads are particularly dull and brownish-tinged.

Its voice includes relatively loud psek notes and weaker twitters. A tik call is given when excited or alarmed.

It is virtually unmistakable, although occasionally confused with the male Violet-capped Woodnymph (Thalurania glaucopis). These have only a blue cap however, the remainder of their head is the same green as the belly.

The majority of the range of the Swallow-tailed Hummingbird is in the Caatinga and Cerrado of Brazil, and adjacent parts of northern and eastern Bolivia, and far northern Paraguay. In the coastal regions, it occurs from French Guiana in north to Santa Catarina, Brazil, in south.

It generally avoids the rainforest found throughout most of the Amazon Basin, and only extends locally into this region along the southern and eastern edge, in the relatively open habitats along the lowermost sections of the Amazon River, including Marajó Island, and upstream to around theTapajós River, and in isolated enclaves of woodland or savanna-like habitats within the Amazon (including so-called “Amazonian Caatinga”) in south-eastern Peru (upper Urubamba River and Pampas del Heath), southern Suriname (Sipaliwini savanna), central Brazil, and northern Bolivia.

It occurs in virtually any semi-open habitat; even gardens and parks within major cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It avoids the interior of humid forest, but does occur in openings or along the edge; the Swallow-tailed Hummingbird is most common among savanna-like vegetation. It is generally a species of lowlands, but occurs locally up to 1,500 m (4,900 ft). Not a true migrant, some populations move north or south a short distance in the dry winter months.

Throughout the bulk of its range, it is among the commonest species of hummingbird, although it generally is uncommon in the outlying regions, particularly where it becomes more humid. In southern Brazil, it is apparently increasing and seems to have extended its range in recent decades. It is considered to be a Species of Least Concern by the IUCN. It was frequently exported for the cage bird trade up to 1970, but like other hummingbirds, it is nowadays on CITES Appendix II and trade is restricted. Also, hummingbirds are generally hard to keep in captivity, and though this species is generally rather hardy, it has been noted that abandoned young may die despite given optimal treatment when trying to hand-raise them.