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 - Bush-shrikes, Wattle-eyes,
     Helmet-shrikes, Vangas
 
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Corvida (-oidea)
Families: Ioras, Bush-shrikes and Puffbacks, Wattle-eyes, Helmet-shrikes, Woodshrikes,
   Vangas and Coral-billed Nuthatch, New Zealand Wattlebirds and Wattled Crows
   
  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.
   
  Ioras
Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) consider the ioras to be a subfamily, the Subfamily Aegithininae:
 
  Family Aegithinidae – Ioras
Wiki    EoL
 
   These are relatively small bulbul-like birds with stout decurved bills with a hooked tip. All are sexually dimorphic - most have bright green to yellowish to black upperparts and yellow underparts, Their dark wings have double wing bars. The are found in open forests or thorn scrub. They feed on small invertebrates and nectar.
   Ioras have elaborate courtship displays. Their nests are small, compact cups attached to a branch above ground. They lay 2-3 eggs which both parents incubate for about 14 days. Parents may care for different chicks until they become independent.
   
  Bush-shrikes, Wattle-eyes
Listed in the Tribe Malaconotini within the Subfamily Malaconotinae by Sibley and Ahlquist (1990). This group is in flux - authors are not in agreement about appropriate the placement of taxa and species:
 
  Family Malaconotidae – Bush-shrikes, Puffbacks
Wiki    EoL
  48 (46) species, 8 genera (Nilaus - Brubru, Dryoscopus - puffbacks, Tchagra - tchagras, Laniarius - bush-shrikes, boubous, gonoleks, Rhodophoneus - bush-shrike, Telophorus - bush-shrikes, Malaconotus and Chlorophoneus - bush-shrikes). Harris (2009) lists 56 species, 12 genera but he includes the 12 species and 3 genera of helmet-shrikes in this family.
   Relatively small passerines. Found in scrub or open woodland in Africa. They hunt insects and small animals from a perch like shrikes. They tend to be largely black or colorful. Many are secretive. Some have displays in which the male puffs out feathers in their rump and back to look almost like a ball.
   They lay up to four eggs in a cup nest in a tree. They are incubated by the female or both parents for 12-15 days and nestlings fledge after 20 days. Young may remain with their parents for up to 4 months.
 
  Family Platysteiridae - Wattle-eyes, Batis, Platysteira
Wiki    Wiki    Wiki    EoL
  31 species (Clements, 2007) 28 species (Harris, 2007), 6 genera (Megabyas, Bias, Pseudobias wardi, Platysteira, Batis, and Lanioturdus torquatus). The first two genera are shrike-flycatchers, the third (species) is Ward's Flycatcher, the fourth genus includes the wattle-eyes, the fifth includes the batis, and the sixth (species) is the White-tailed Shrike. They are relatively common in sub-Sahara Africa and central Madagascar.
   Several wattle-eyes or puffback flycatchers have brightly colored fleshy eye decorations. They are relatively small insect-eating birds of open forests or bush with a large, broad bill, hooked at the tip. They flycatch or take prey on the ground like a shrike.
   Their nest is a small cup, hidden in a low tree or bush.
   
  Helmet-shrikes, Vangas
Placed in the Tribe Vangini, Subfamily Malaconotinae by Sibley and Ahlquist (1990):
 
  Family Prionopidae - Helmet-shrikes, Woodshrikes,
      Philentomas
Wiki    EoL
  12 species, 3 genera (Prionops, Tephrodornis, Philentoma). Africa south of the equator. Harris (2009) includes these genera in the Malaconotidae. They are also placed in the Family Malaconotidae by the Encyclopedia of Life.
   Many species are crested and closely resemble true shrikes but species vary in their plumage. coloration varies - helmet-shrikes are mainly black and white - others are colorful. They are small to medium birds with a broad head and a stout hooked bill (weakest in helmet--shrikes). All have broad wattles around the eye with a slender body. They occur in savannas and open woodlands, lowland rain forests, mangroves, etc. All are mainly insectivorous.
   Clutches of 3-5 eggs are incubated for 12-15 days. Young fledge in about 3 weeks and may remain with their parents for more than 4 months.
 
  Family Vangidae - Vangas,
      Coral-billed Nuthatch (Nuthatch Vanga)
Wiki    Wiki     EoL
  22 species, 15 genera (Harris, 2009). 15 species, 12 genera Calicalicus, Schetba, Vanga, Xenopirostris, Falculea, Artamella, Leptoptherus, Cyanolanius, Iriolia, Euryceros, Tylas, Hypotsitta) (Clements, 2007). Vangas and the Coral-billed Nuthatch, Hypositta corallirostris.  Restricted to Madagascar (one species reaches the Comoros).
   Small to medium-sized birds that resemble shrikes but species have undergone an adaptive radiation into several niches. The Helmet VangaEuryceros prevostii, has a laterally flattened casque-like bill like a hornbill. The Sickle-billed Vanga, Falculea palliata, has a scythe-shaped fine bill. Three species have chisel-shaped bills. Most are sexually dimorphic and colors vary. They are relatively social birds, foraging  on  the ground or lower branches. They probe under and strip bark searching for insects and spiders. Most inhabit rain or deciduous forests. Some may be found in scrub and agricultural areas.
   They build a cup-shaped nest and lay 1-4 eggs. Helpers may aid in incubating eggs and feeding the young.
   
  New Zealand Wattlebirds, Wattled Crows
Listed as the Subfamily Callaetinae by Sibley and Ahlquist (1990):
 
  Family Callaeatidae - New Zealand Wattlebirds,
        Wattled Crows
Wiki    EoL
  3 (2) species, 3 (2) genera (Callaeas, Philesturnus). North Island, New Zealand. These species appear to be a remnant of an early expansion of passerines in New Zealand.
   The Huia, Heteralocha acutirostris (Wiki) is now extinct. This species had a marked sexual dimorphism in bill shape allowing paired individuals to utilize very different food resources - the male's short, chisel-like bill allowed him to feed in outer layers of decaying wood while the female's long, scimitar-like bill allowed her to probe for insects in living wood. Other species have large fleshy wattles at the base of their bill, short wings with long outer primaries. They vary in size - the Saddleback, Philesturnus carunculatus, is smaller with a slender decurved bill and the Kokako, Callaeas cinerea, is larger with a thick arched bill and long legs and tail. Saddlebacks forage in dead wood, often feeding on the forest floor. Kokakos are more arboreal, often near fruiting bushes or trees. They are found in Nothofagus (beech) forest. Both species are in some danger of extinction.
   Saddlebacks pair for life and spend the year together. They lay 2-4 eggs which the female incubates for 18-25 days. Both parents care for the young which fledge at 28-31 days.