Romance in the air – A pair of maroon-bellied parakeet, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

The maroon-bellied parakeet (Pyrrhura frontalis) is a small parrot found from southeastern Brazil to north-eastern Argentina, including eastern Paraguay and Uruguay. It is also known as the reddish-bellied parakeet, and in aviculture it is usually referred to as the maroon-bellied conure, reddish-bellied conure or brown-eared conure. These birds range from 25 to 28 cm (10–11 in), and are primarily green, with a maroon patch on the belly, a “scaly” yellow-green-barred breast and sides of neck, a whitish ear-patch often tinged brown, and a maroon undertail. The specific name frontalis is a reference to its dark maroon frontlet – a feature which separates it from most similar species. The primaries are blue on the outer webs, green on the inner webs, and dark on the tips. The beak is black. The maroon-bellied parakeet is common in woodland, and forest edges. In the northern part of its range, it mainly lives in highlands up to 1,400 m (4,600 ft), but elsewhere it is primarily found in lowlands up to 1,000 m (3,300 ft). Tolerates disturbance well and even lives in urban parks (e.g., Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo) and feeds in gardens. Flock size is usually only 6–12 individuals, but up […]

Red rumped cacique showing why is it called so, 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 […]

Violaceous euphonia – Male perched, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  The violaceous euphonia (Euphonia violacea) is a small passerine bird in the true finch family. It is a resident breeder from Trinidad, Tobago and eastern Venezuela south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina. The bird’s range in northern Brazil is the lower portion of the Amazon Basin and the adjacent Tocantins River drainage, with its northwestern limits from Brazil and the Guyanas, the eastern banks of the Orinoco River drainage in central Venezuela. It occurs in forests, second growth and plantations of cocoa and citrus fruit. The ball nest is built on a bank, tree stump or cavity and the normal clutch is four, sometimes three, red-blotched white eggs, which are incubated by the female. Adult violaceous euphonias are 11.4 cm long and weigh 14 g. The male has glossy blue-black upperparts and a deep golden yellow forehead and underparts. The female and immature are olive green above and greenish yellow below. These are social birds which eat mainly small fruit and only rarely take insects. The violaceous euphonia’s song is a varied mix of musical notes, squeaks, chattering and imitation. Some seasonal wandering has been noted, but no significant movements reported. It is not globally threatened and is concerned […]

One more Black-goggled Tanager perched, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

The black-goggled tanager (Trichothraupis melanops) is a species of bird in the family, Thraupidae. It is the only member of the genus Trichothraupis. It is found at low levels in forest and woodland in a large part of eastern and southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and far north-eastern Argentina, with a disjunct population along the East Andean slope in Peru, Bolivia and far north-western Argentina. While generally common and widespread, and consequently considered to be of least concern by IUCN, the population associated with the Andes is relatively local and uncommon. The underparts are tawny, the back and head are dull brownish-olive, and the tail and wings are contrastingly black (the latter with a white speculum that is difficult to see when perched, but conspicuous in flight). The male has a yellow crown patch and a large black patch around the eyes as seen in this picture (the black “goggles” for which the species is named). Fairly common throughout most of its highly disjunct range, the Black-goggled Tanager is unusual amongst forest-based tanagers in showing extensive white in the primaries in flight. It prefers the undergrowth, is usually found in pairs, and regularly joins mixed-species foraging flocks. In terms of elevational […]

Magpie tanager perched, Atlantic Rainforest, Brazil

  The magpie tanager (Cissopis leverianus ) is a South American species of tanager. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Cissopis. As suggested by its common name, this blue-black and white species are superficially reminiscent of a European magpie. With a total length of 25–30 cm (10–12 in), a large percentage of which is a tail, it is the longest species of tanager. It weighs 69-76 g. It is widespread in humid tropical and subtropical woodland, plantations, second growth, and parks in South America east of the Andes. It is absent from drier regions (e.g. the Caatinga) and most of north-eastern Brazil. In densely forested regions, it mainly occurs in relatively open sections (e.g. near major rivers). In such regions it is spreading with deforestation, which opens up the habitat. It is largely restricted to lowlands but occurs up to an altitude of 2,000 m (6,600 ft) on the east Andean slopes. It is common throughout most of its range, but rarer in the Guianas. Often moves long tail up and down. Eats seed, fruits, and insects. A large, long-tailed black-and-white tanager with striking yellow irides, Magpie Tanager is widely distributed across much of lowland South America, […]