Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Menuroidea
 
 
 

TRAITS
 Ratites
 Tinamous
 Cracids/Galli
 Waterfowl
   Screamers
   Ducks

 Penguins
 Loons
 Grebes
 Procellarids
   Albatrosses
   Petrels
   Storm-Petrels

Totipalmate Swm

   Tropicbirds
   Gannets/Boobies
   Pelicans
   Cormorants
   Anhingas
   Frigatebirds

 
Waders
   Herons
   Ibises
   Storks  

 NW Vultures
 Flamingos
 Raptors
 Gruiformes
   Buttonquail
   Bustards
   Cranes
   Rails

 Shorebirds
   Sandgrouse
   Plovers
   Oystercatchers
   Stilts
   Sandpipers
   Gulls/Terns
   Auks

 Pigeons
 Parrots
 Turacos
 Cuckoos
 Owls
 Frogmouths
 Nightjars
 Swifts/Humbd
 Colies
 Coraciae

   Hornbills
   Hoopoes
   Trogons
   Rollers
   Kingfishers
   Bee-eaters
   Jacamars/Puffbd

 
Pici
   Honeyguides
   Woodpeckers
   Barbets/Toucans

PASSERINES
   NZ WRENS
   OW SUBOSC

      Broadbills
      Pittas

 NW SUBOSC
   NW Flycatchers

   Becards
   Cotingas
   Manakins
   Antbirds
   Ovenbirds
   Woodcreepers
   Antthrushes
   Tapaculos 

 OSCINES
 Lyre-/Scrub-birds
 Bowerbirds
 Aust. Wrens
 Honeyeaters
 Scrubwrens
 Aust. Robins
 Kinglets
 Shrikes
 Vireos
 Whistlers
 Corvids
 Birds-of-Paradse
 OW Orioles
 Cuckoo-shrikes
 Fantails
 Drongos
 Monarchs
 Bush-shrikes
 Wattle-eyes
 Vangas
 Waxwings
 Dippers
 Thrushes
 OW Flycatchers
 Starlings
 Mimids
 Nuthatches
 N Creepers
 Wrens
 Gnatcatchers
 Tits/Parids
 Larks
 Swallows
 Leaf-Warblers
 Bulbuls
 Cisticolas
 White-eyes
 Babblers
 OW Warblers
 Flowerpeckers
 Sunbirds
 OW Sparrows
 Accentors
 Pipits
 Estridids
 Weavers
 Whydahs
 9-prim. Oscines

   Fringillines
   Carduelines
   Hawaiian Honycrp
   NW Sparrows
   NW Warblers
   Tanagers
   Cardinals
   NW Blackbirds

TOP

 
Passeriformes, Oscines, Menuroida - Lyrebirds and Scrub-birds
 
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Basal Oscines (Menuroida)
Families: Lyrebirds, Scrub-birds, Treecreepers, Bowerbirds, New Zealand Thrushes
 
Images:   
Satin Bowerbird
   
  Order Passeriformes - Perching Birds
Wiki     ToL     EoL
     Suborder Passeres - "Oscines," Song Birds
Wiki     ToL
 

Passerines. Most passerines are smaller than members of non-passerine orders. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one (the hallux) backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young are altricial - they hatch blind with little or no down - and nidicolous - spending 10-15 days or so in the nest.  Subsequent development is rapid and young approach adult mass at fledging. Parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines, Suborder Passeres, are our "song birds" with complex syringeal muscles used to produce varied and complex vocalizations.
Menuroida - ancient songbirds, Australoasian region.

 
  Parvorder (Infraorder) Menuroida (Superfamily Menuroidea)
   Basal Oscines
ToL
  The most ancient songbirds, endemic to Australia                                                                                                                                                                  
   
  "Menuridae" - Lyrebirds and Scrub-birds 
Lyrebirds and Bowerbirds appear to be more closely related to each other than to any other group. Sibley and Monroe (1990) place lyrebirds in the Subfamily Menurinae and scrub-birds in the  Subfamily Atrichornithinae. However, most authors separate them into the following independent families:
 
  Family Menuridae – Lyrebirds
Wiki     EoL
  2 species, 1 genus (Menura). Lyrebirds are found in forested areas of south-eastern Australia. The Superb Lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, is found in damp temperate and subtropical woodlands from sea level up. Albert's Lyrebird, M. alberti, is found in rain forest, usually about 300m (Nothofagus forests).
   They are relatively large and shy, ground-dwelling birds. The brightly-colored males are also larger than the females. They have huge feet for a songbird. Their syrinx has few (3) intrinsic muscles. Their plumage is relatively dull - dark upperparts and buffy underparts - the Superb Lyrebird is grayer and Albert's Lyrebird is warmer and darker. Both species have elaborate elongate tails which, when erected, resemble lyres with an outside frame and interior strings. The Superb Lyrebird has 16 feathers - 2 outer lyre-like feathers, 2 median ribbon-like feathers and 12 filamentous feathers. Albert's Lyrebird has 14 feathers total, lacking the lyrate plumes. Females have a simpler tail with a drooping tip.  Males erect their tail and sing their elaborate songs on a display mound constructed in dense bush and used in courtship. Their song has unique notes and complex imitations of surrounding sounds – train locomotives, chain saws, dogs barking, cameras clicking, gun shots, cars, etc., including the songs of all the local birds around it.  They are even able to carry on two separate sound tracks at the same time – truly complex behavior for birds with a relatively simple syringeal morphology.
    They feed on small invertebrates, occasionally taking small vertebrates and seeds. They forage using their claws to rake soil, leaf litter, and bark leaving behind disturbed tracks through the woodland floor. Rather than flying, they may seek refuge from danger in a burrow, cave, or other irregularity.
   Lyrebirds are polygynous. Males have display mounts or trampled areas of the forest floor - up to 15 display sites in each territory. Females approach and males fan and raise the tail, singing continuously and dancing. The female builds a large, dome-shaped nest on the ground (or elevated in a tree)  and lays one egg which she incubates for about 50 days (the nest is unattended for ~6 hours/day while she feeds). Chicks fledge at about 47 days. The female provides care for the chick for up to 8 months after hatching.
   View a clip of a male displaying and singing a variety of songs. The bird imitates a camera shutter, car alarm, chain saws and falling timber, etc.   
 
  Family Atrichornithidae – Scrub-birds
Wiki     EoL
  2 species, 1 genus (Atrichornis). Australia (endemics). Scrub-birds are remnants of an ancient radiation of oscines. The Rufous Scrub-bird, Atrichornis rufescens, is found in temperate eucalyptus and Nothofagus forests in eastern Australia. The Noisy Scrub-bird, A. clamosus, occurs in semi-arid heathland with shrubs in southwestern Australia. Both prefer with dense cover and thick leaf litter.
   These starling-sized birds are cryptically colored with finely barred plumage and tend to be secretive. They are shy terrestrial birds. They are generally solitary and forage in leaf litter by raking the forest floor with strong feet and claws. They feed on a variety of invertebrates and will take a few small vertebrates They have a strong, pointed and broad bill with a long tail that is often cocked. Their clavicles are small and unfused and the pectoral muscle is reduced. They fly weakly. They also have only 3 intrinsic syringeal muscles. Yet, their calls are loud (painful-even).
   Their calls serve to attract females who build a domed nest near the ground and care for the eggs and young. They lay 1 (Noisy Scrub-bird) or 2 (Rufous Scrub-bird) eggs with long incubation periods - 36-38 days. Females provide parental care. Young take ~47 days to fledge. Females continue to tend their  fledged young for several months (up to 8).
   The Noisy Scrub-bird (western species) is endangered (believed to be extinct but a small population was rediscovered in 1961).