Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Dicrurinae
 
 
 

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 - Fantails, Drongos
 
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Corvida (-oidea)
Families: Fantails, Drongos, Monarchs, Magpie Larks, Boatbills
 
Images:   
Willie Wagtail, Magpie Lark
   
  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.
 
  "Dicrurinae" - Fantails, Drongos, Monarchs, Magpie Larks, Boatbills
The following families are placed in the Subfamily Dicrurinae by Sibley and Ahlquist (1990). Fantails and drongos are placed in separate tribes - Tribe Rhipidurini, Dicrurini. The Tribe Monarchini includes the Monarchidae - monarchs, Grallinidae - magpie-larks, and Machaerirhynchidae - boatbills.
 
  Family Rhipiduridae – Fantails
Wiki    EoL
  42 (45-43) species, 1 genus (Rhipidura). Southeast Asia south through the islands to New Guinea and Australia to Tasmania.
   All fantails are similar with a compact body, short bill, and long tail which is often waved, raised, or spread. They are relatively small insectivorous birds and most species are sexually monomorphic. They have long rictal bristles, 10 primaries, and 9 secondaries. The tail is often as long as the head and body together. Legs and feet are short and delicate except in the largest species, the Willie-wagtail (below - a favorite of our visit to Australia.). Individuals may be solitary, or found in pairs or in mixed-species foraging flocks. They are active and restless - in constant motion. They forage on the ground, on branches, or by flycatching from a perch. Some are tame and approach people to feed on disturbed insects - some forage from the backs of cattle (or even a kangaroo). Their habitat ranges from rain forests to monsoon forests and dry forest edges including urban areas.
     Courtship involves showing off supercilia and bobbing and jumping. Some have courtship flights. Females are more territorial than males. Both sexes build the nest - a small deep cup. 2-4 eggs are incubated by both parents 12-14 days. Fledging takes about 12 days (two weeks in the Willie-wagtail).
 
Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail,
Rhipidura leucophrys
Brisbane Australia
                 Wiki     EoL

 
 
  Family Dicruridae – Drongos
Wiki    EoL
  24 (24-22)) species, 2 genera (Dicrurus, Chaetorhynchus). Old World tropics - Africa south of the Sahara and southern Asia, south through Indonesia and New Guinea to the northern and eastern coasts of Australia.
   Small to medium birds with a short, slightly-curved bill with a hooked tip with rictal bristles. Most are blackish with a metallic sheen (usually glossy and with spangles, hackles, or curls). Some species have a slight crest. They have long forked tails with 10 rectricies (12 in one species). Drongos are found in open forests, woodland, parkland, and cultivated areas. They forage in peripheral foliage. Some perch on wires or fences, watching for insects which they catch in the air or on the ground. They are largely insectivorous - larger species may also take small birds. 
   They build a shallow cup in a fork of a branch in the outer foliage. They lay 1-4 eggs and incubate for up to 17 days. Both parents incubate and care for the young. They are aggressive if their nests or young are threatened.
 
  Family Monarchidae - Monarchs
Wiki    EoL
  95 species, 17 genera. Old World - most of Africa south of the Sahara, southern Asia, north and east to Korea and Japan, south through Indonesia and New Guinea to northern and eastern Australia.
   Monarchs are flycatchers, feeding mainly on small insects. They are small to medium in size and slender with a sturdy bill which may be notched and hooked in some species. The tail is usually short (but it is longer in the crested flycatchers and very long in paradise-flycatchers). Colors vary widely among species - some are brightly colored with bold patterns. Others have crests and some have erectile nape feathers. Eye rings (and wattles) also occur. Monarchs are arboreal and forage in foliage or flycatch from a perch or while hovering. They inhabit forests, savannahs, and edges. Social behavior may involve allopreening.
   Most species are monogamous but some may have helpers. In most species, both parents share in nest building and incubation. They lay 2-4 eggs which are incubated for 12-18 days. Young fledge in 10-18 days but continue to receive parental care for a few days.
 
  Family Grallinidae - Magpie Larks
Wiki    EoL
  2 species, 1 genus (Grallina). Included in the Monarchidae by Dickinson (2003) and the Encyclopedia of Life but separated into its own family by Clements (2007).
   An Australian bird of medium size, related to drongos but often placed in the newer family of monarchs. It is widespread in urban and rural areas of the continent - missing in some inland and north-west areas.
   It is boldly pied in color - females and young have a white throat, males (below) have a black throat. They are carnivorous and have benefitted from agriculture. They are aggressive when breeding and often attack people approaching their nesting area. They mate for life and breed opportunistically - after rain in drier areas. They are one of a few species that duet - each bird singing a note a second but a half second apart. Recent study suggests that duets guard against infidelity - the female's response identifies the primary songster as "taken."
   They build the round nest, usually near water. Both parents incubate 3-5 eggs.
   
Magpie-Lark
Magpie Lark,
Grallina cyanoleuca
Brisbane, Australia
            Wiki     EoL
 
  Family Machaerirhynchidae - Boatbills
Wiki     EoL
  2 species, 1 genus (Machaerirhynchus). Harris (2009) separates these species from the monarchs - recent genetic studies suggests distant relations with the monarchs with their closest relatives remaining unknown. Boatbills are found in New Guinea and northeastern Australia (Daintree tropics). Included in the Monarchidae by the Encyclopedia of Life.
   They are relatively small birds with a broad head and large flat bill with a hooked tip. One species is dark above with yellow underparts; the other is dark with black lores and a yellow face and belly with a black breast patch. They have double wing bars. Females are dull olive with pale spotted or barred underparts. They are active foragers, gleaning insects in mid- and upper levels of lowland rain forest or secondary woodlands or flycatching from edges. They may hold their tail cocked.
   They build a small, fragile saucer or basket nest, placed above the ground. They lay 2-3 eggs. Both parents incubate for ~14 days and both care for the young.
 

 

 

 

 

   
  Banner - Willie Wagtail. Brisbane. Australia.