Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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  Index
WORLD BIRDS
  Contents
  Index

ANECDOTES

  Corvids
 
 
 

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, Corvida - Woodswallows, Bellmagpies,
    Old World Orioles, Cuckoo-shrikes
 
Skip to:   
Corvida (-oidea)
Families: Woodswallows, Bellmagpies, Currawongs, and Butcherbirds, Bristlehead,
   Old World Orioles and Figbirds, Cuckoo-shrikes
 
Images:   
Black-naped Oriole
   
  Order Passeriformes - Perching Birds
   Suborder Passeres - "Oscines," Song Birds
Wiki     ToL     EoL
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.
Covida. Australasia center with old endemics and radiations including the corvids, Old World orioles, shrikes, and vireos.
 
  Woodswallows, Cracticids, Bristlehead
Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) include three groups recognized here as the following 3 families within the Tribe Artamini. These species are variously classified in the Cracticidae by others.
 
  Family Artamidae - Woodswallows
Wiki     EoL
  11 (10) species, 1 genus (Artamus). Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, and southeastern Asia.
   Woodswallows are gregarious and aerial like true swallows. Unlike most passerines, they will soar in thermals. They are relatively small with a wide, stout bill, long pointed wings, a square tail and short legs and small feet. they are generally dull with soft plumage and they usually have black facial markings. They have a brush-tipped tongue used for catching insects. Woodswallows often perch on wires or outer branches from which they pursue their prey. Flocks may be mixed and can contain several dozen individuals - they also roost in tightly packed groups. Some species are adapted for the arid conditions of interior Australia.
   They tend to breed during periods of rainfall when insects are more abundant. Flimsy nests are placed in trees, shrubs, or in rock crevices. Females lay 2-4 eggs. Both parents incubate for 12-16 days and chicks fledge in 14-20 days. Both parents continue to feed their young for up to a month after fledging. Helpers participate in nest defense and also care for the young in some species.
 
  Family Cracticidae - Bellmagpies (Australian Magpies),
    Currawongs
,Butcherbirds
Wiki     Wiki      Wiki    EoL 
  13 species, 4 genera. Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea. The magpie (Gymnorhina) is named for its resemblance to Northern Hemisphere magpies. Currawongs (Strepera) are named for their distinctive call. Butcherbirds (Cracticus) wedge their prey between branches or into a crevice, then kill and dismember it. The fourth genera (Peltops) includes two species of peltops.
   These are medium-sized to relatively large birds. They have yellow eyes and are omnivorous (and predaceous), foraging in foliage, on trunks and branches, and on the ground. They eat large insects, small vertebrates, fruit, and human handouts. Butcherbirds lodge prey in a trunk or fence post before killing and tearing it into bite-sized pieces. These birds have a powerful bill with a hooked upper mandible. They are found in pairs during the breeding season but form social groups at other seasons. They are found in forests, edges, open fields, tips, mangroves, and in urban areas. Magpies are opportunistic ground foragers, currawongs forage on the ground and in trees and often take the eggs and young of other birds. Butcherbirds are predators, taking large insects and small vertebrates - they may cache food in tree holes.
   They build large basket nests in trees. Butcherbirds lay 3-5 eggs and incubate them about 25 days with young fledging in about 28 days. The female incubates but young are cared for by both parents and often remain with their parents through the first year, serving as helpers during the subsequent breeding season.
 
  Family Pityriasidae - Bristlehead
Wiki    EoL
  1 species, 1 genus (Pityriasis). Lowland forests  of Borneo. Included in the Corvidae by the Encyclopedia of Life.
   Mid-sized bird with a red head (partially bare) and black body. It has bristles on the crown. The bill is large, pointed, and hooked. They forage in groups (up to 10) in upper levels of trees, feeding on insects gleaned from the leaves. They may forage with other large insectivores (babblers, trogons, drongos, woodpeckers, etc.) They remove the wings and legs of larger insects by rubbing them against a branch.
   They are believed to build cup-shaped nests and be cooperative breeders.
 
  Orioles, Cuckoo-shrikes
The following two families are placed in the Tribe Oriolini by Sibley and Ahlquist (1990):
 
  Family Oriolidae - Old World Orioles and Figbirds
Wiki    EoL
  30 (29) species 2 genera (Oriolus, Sphecotheres). Europe and the Middle East, east to central Asia and south to south-east Asia (India, Indonesia and Borneo, New Guinea, Australia) and north through eastern China to Korea.
   Brightly colored  (many with yellow-gold colors) medium to large passerines. Species are sexually dimorphic with a slender head and body. Their bill is robust and slightly decurved (shorter and hooked in figbirds). African, European and Asian species are mostly golden yellow with black in the wings and tail.. Species found in New Guinea and Australia are olive-green/brown with heavy streaks. Figbirds have bare skin around the eyes (which may be brightly colored)). Most orioles are solitary but figbirds are more social and form flocks. They are canopy foragers and may be difficult to see. They are found in a variety of woodlands ranging from rainforest to urban and agricultural areas. They are mainly insectivorous - specializing in larger hairy caterpillars which they rub against branches to remove the hairs and toxic gut contents. Figbirds specialize on fruits and may come into conflict with agricultural producers. Several orioles also take pollen and nectar.
   They build cup-shaped nests on a branch. Figbird nests are particularly flimsy. They lay 2-3 eggs which the female incubates for 13-15 days. Young fledge after 2-3 weeks and are fed by both parents (and male helpers in some species).
  Black-naped Oriole Black-naped Oriole,
Oriolus chinensis
Singapore
Photo by Ed Konrad.
              Wiki     EoL
 
 
 
Family Campephagidae - Cuckoo-shrikes
Wiki    EoL
    82 (81) species, 7 genera. Cuckoo-shrikes are Paleotropical in distribution (Old World tropics), ranging from central and southern Africa and Madagascar east through south-east Asia and north to Japan and eastern Russia. They also occur throughout Indonesia, New Guinea and Australia.
    They are small- to medium-sized birds with long, slightly decurved bills. They resemble cuckoos in their plumage (but not their breeding habits) and shrikes in their large bill. The family can be divided into true cuckoo-shrikes (Campephaga, Coracina, Lobotos, Campochaera), trillers (Lalage), minivets (Pericrocotus), and flycatcher-shrikes (Hemipus). Cuckoo-shrikes are larger and usually gray; minivets are smaller and brightly colored. Some species are sexually dimorphic. Their plumage is dense and soft. They have 10 primaries. Most species are arboreal and feed mainly on insects with some also eating fruit (figs, berries, etc.). Several species are primarily fruit-eaters. Most occur in forested habitats (rain forest to swamp forests and secondary growth areas) - some are threatened by forest clearing.
   Most species are monogamous and territorial (some are cooperative breeders). Some species have elaborate courtship displays. Nests are small, flimsy, and bound together with spider silk - usually in the fork or a branch. They lay 1-5 eggs. They are incubated by the female in some species, both sexes in others. Young fledge in 12-25 days.