Yellow-fronted Woodpecker female sticking its tongue out, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  The yellow-fronted woodpecker (Melanerpes flavifrons) is a species of bird in the family Picidae. It is found in Brazil, Paraguay and far northeastern Argentina. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and heavily degraded former forest. This colourful woodpecker is about 18 cm (7 in) long. The sexes are similar apart from the male having a red crown and nape while this region in the female is bluish black. Both have a yellow fore-crown, yellow cheeks, chin and throat, and a broad black band running from the base of the beak, through the eye to the nape. The mantle and upper wings are mainly black, and the back and rump are white. The tail is black with some white barring on the outer feathers. The breast is grey or olive, the belly red and the flanks barred in black and white or black and buff. The iris is blue-black and the distinct orbital ring is yellowish or orange. The beak is black and the legs and feet olive-brown. The juvenile is similar to the adult but less glossy and rather browner, with less red on the belly and crown. The species has a mixed diet consisting […]

Violet-capped Woodnymph male perched on bird of paradise flower, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

The violet capped woodnymph (Thalurania glaucopis) is a species of hummingbird in the family Trochilidae. It is found in forest (primarily humid), dense woodland, gardens and parks in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, Uruguay, and far north-eastern Argentina (primarily Misiones Province). Violet-capped Woodnymphs inhabit a wide range of habitats from untouched forests, to scrub, to suburban and city gardens. They gather nectar from both native and non-native flowers and also hunt for insects. During certain parts of the year, Violet-capped Woodnymphs migrate short distances. Males have a bluish violet cap and sparkle with dark green above and gold-green below. Females are dark greenish above and off-white below. During the breeding season, these woodnymphs adorn the outside of their nests with ferns and lichen. The violet capped woodnymph Forages for nectar at a great variety of native and introduced plants, from low in understorey to canopy level. The male is distinctive, being overall green with a blue cap and deeply forked dark blue tail. It is occasionally confused with the swallow-tailed hummingbird. The female lacks the blue crown, has entirely greyish-white underparts, and a shorter, white-tipped tail. It is widespread and generally common, and therefore considered to be of Least Concern by […]

Tayra ground level in a Banana plantation, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  The tayra (Eira barbara), is an omnivorous animal from the weasel family, native to the Americas. It is the only species in the genus Eira. Tayras are also known as the tolomuco or perico ligero in Central America, motete in Honduras, irara in Brazil, san hol or viejo de monte in the Yucatan Peninsula, and high-woods dog (or historically chien bois) in Trinidad. The genus name Eira is derived from the indigenous name of the animal in Bolivia and Peru, while barbara means “strange” or “foreign”. Tayras are long, slender animals with an appearance similar to weasels and martens. They range from 56 to 71 cm (22 to 28 in) in length, not including a 37- to 46-cm-long (15 to 18 in) bushy tail, and weigh 2.7 to 7.0 kg (6.0 to 15.4 lb). Males are larger, and slightly more muscular, than females. They have short, dark brown to black fur which is relatively uniform across the body, limbs, and tail, except for a yellow or orange spot on the chest. The fur on the head and neck is much paler, typically tan or greyish in colour. Albino or yellowish individuals are also known, and are not as rare […]

Spotlight on Red-rumped Cacique, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  The red rumped cacique (Cacicus haemorrhous) is a species of bird in the family Icteridae. Large cacique with a long, slender ivory bill. Found in the canopy of humid forests and may make migratory movements tracking the rains. Entirely black apart from a red rump that may be hard to see when perched. Note the blue eyes. Nests in colonies and builds large pendulous nests. It is a species of the Amazon Basin and the Guyanas in northern South America, and is only coastal there in the Guyanas and the Amazon River outlet to the Atlantic; a separate large disjunct range exists in all of south-eastern and coastal Brazil, including Paraguay, and parts of north-eastern Argentina. It is also found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. The red rumped cacique is a conspicuous member of the forest community and can be found roaming in large flocks and nesting colonially in trees along the forest edge. Noisy like most forest caciques, the Red-rumped Cacique is typically found by its metallic squawking calls. The species is strikingly blue-black with a red rump and stout, tapered, pale bill. It feeds on insects and other arthropods, also […]

Plain parakeets pair – an interaction, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  Plain Parakeets (Brotogeris tirica) are endemic to, and common in, southern and eastern Brazil; its range stretching from southern Bahia to Sao Paulo west across southern Minas Gerais to southern Goias. They appear to be restricted to that area of South East Brazil that used to be covered in Atlantic Rain Forest. Their natural habitats include open country with trees and bushes, lowland evergreen forest areas, second-growth forests, degraded former forest areas, partially cultivated land, woodlands, parks and urban areas. They can be found at elevations up to 1,200 to 1,300 meters (~4,000 to 4,265 feet). They occur in pairs, groups or small flocks. These noisy parakeets are often seen flying between trees or buildings. The Plain Parakeets seems to have adapted to the destruction of 95% of their natural habitat and survives well in many areas where fruiting trees grow, specifically large urban centers and city parks. Global populations are said to be stable as this species is still considered “common” in most of its large range. Even though, this species is currently evaluated as Least Concern by IUCN, a considerable decline in its population has been noted following large-scale conversion of its original habitat for agricultural use. […]