Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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WORLD BIRDS
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  Index

ANECDOTES

  Dippers, Thrushes
 
 
 

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

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Passeriformes, Oscines, Passerida, Muscicapoidea -
   Dippers, Thrushes
 
Skip to:   
Passerida, Muscicapoidea,
Families: Dippers, Thrushes, Old World Flycatchers and Chats
 
Species:   
Western Bluebird
 
Skip to:   
All dippers
 
Images:   
American Dipper
   
  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.
Passerida. Radiation in Eurasia, Africa and North America (with later colonization of South America). Passerida have two humeral fossae (Corvida have one).
Muscicapoidea - worldwide distribution of dull and mostly monomorphic birds centered in the Paleotropics.
   
  Dippers
Specialized and limited to montane streams of the Northern Hemisphere
 
  Family Cinclidae – Dippers
Wiki     EoL
  5 (5) species, 1 genus. Eurasia, western North America, Central America and South America, living in close association with mountain streams and fast-flowing water. They rarely, if ever, fly over land. Absent in eastern North America.
   Relatively small, dumpy birds with a short neck and tail. The bill is straight and slender. They have strong legs and feet. They have a well-developed uropygial (oil) gland . The eye is covered by a nictitating membrane when they are submerged (their eyelids are covered by fine white feathers). They are our only aquatic passerines, adapted for walking underwater. They feed on aquatic insects, larvae, and other invertebrates gathered by walking up-stream under water as they feed. They may spread their wings underwater using the flow to keep them submerged. Their plumage is soft and waterproof and they have thick down. Most species are mostly dark.  They have 10 primaries and their juvenal plumage is spotted. Their tarsi are “booted” (covered with a single scale). They have one molt/year. They lack rectal bristles. Their humeral fossa are double (a characteristic of the Passerida).
    They build domed nests near running water - under bridges, fallen trees, or other overhangs near a stream. They lay 2-6 eggs, incubated 14-20 days by the female. Young fledge in 29-24 days.
 
 
All Dippers - Birds of fast mountain streams.
   White-throated Dipper, Cinclus cinclus. Ireland, Scotland, Finno-Scandinavia through central and southern Europe and the mountains of Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria. Caucasus Mountains to Iran. Ural Mountains and mountains of central Asia including the Himalayas.
   Brown Dipper, Ciniclus pallasii. Mountains of central Asia and the Himalayas to northeast Asia and Japan. Northern Thailand and Vietnam and northeast India (Khasi Hills).
   American Dipper, Cinclus mexicanus. Aleutians and Alaska, western Canada and the US, south to the highlands of Mexico and Guatemala and Honduras to western Panama.
   White-capped Dipper, Cinclus leucocephalus. Northeastern Colombia, western Venezuela and Ecuador. Mountains of Peru and Bolivia.
   Rufous-throated Dipper, Cinclus schulzi. Eastern slope of Andes in northwest Argentina and southeast Bolivia.
       
  American Dipper, Cinclus mexicanus
     
Wiki     EoL
 
Dipper
Dipper Nest
 
American Dipper, Cinclus mexicanus.
Boulder Canyon, CO
Adult, Boulder Creek, Boulder CO.
Photo by Ed Konrad
Nest. Boulder Creek, Boulder, CO
Photo by Ed Konrad
 
  Thrushes and Old World Flycatchers 
This is a sister group to the starlings and mimic thrushes. Sibley and Monroe (1990) place the following families in the Subfamily Turdinae and Subfamily Muscicapinae:
 
  Family Turdidae – True Thrushes
           Chlamydochaera
, Brachypteryx, Alethe
Wiki     EoL
EXAMPLE
  179 (176-167) species, 22 (25) genera. Worldwide except for polar regions and interior Australia. Originated in the Old World (central or southern Asia).
     Thrushes form a large family with a world wide distribution. The Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos (Wiki), and Eurasian Blackbird, T. merula (Wiki) have been introduced into New Zealand. They are well known for their varied and musical songs. Many are attractive and a number are associated with urban and rural areas but occur in a wide variety of habitats.
   Thrushes are medium-sized insectivores that often feed on the ground and are known for the beauty of their songs (including mimicry by some). Most are solitary but may form loose flocks in winter. Their head is rounded and the bill is slender and pointed. Rictal bristles are variable.The tail is moderately long. Colors are soft and subtle - often with orange or red (but the Eurasian or Common Blackbird is all black). Young thrushes have spotted plumage dorsally as well as ventrally and can easily be recognized as thrushes. Their bills are usually slender and their legs and their legs and feet are robust - the tarsus is "booted" (covered with one scale – a unique scale pattern). They have a single molt. They have 10 primaries and 12-14 tail feathers. They have double humeral fossae. Most thrushes and muscicapids have a unique arrangement of internal muscles of the syrinx.
   Thrushes are noted for their song. One of the greatest songs is that of the Varied Thrush, Ixoreus naevius, a western species (Wiki). (Click to hear it).
   Thrushes are mostly arboreal but many forage in the open (some are grassland-dwellers and some inhabit rocky areas). Their food is mainly animal but they also eat berries. Seasonally, they eat more insects in the summer and more fruit in winter. Most will forage on the ground.    Most thrushes are monogamous and defend territory.Their nest is usually an open cup of grass, usually placed in trees or shrubs. They may use mud in constructing the nest. They may nest on the ground, in holes, among branches, etc. The eggs (4-5/clutch) are usually pale blue. Incubation is by the female (12-14 days) but both parents feed the young. They fledge after 12-14 days.
   Our three species of bluebirds (Eastern, Western, Mountain Bluebirds) have probably diverged from other thrushes and could be recognized as a subfamily.                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wiki
  Song Thrush    
 
Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos.
Temple of Olympain Zeus. Athens, Greece.
Photo by Ed Konrad          Wiki     EoL
   
 
  Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana 
 
Cornell     USGS     Wiki     EoL
        OCCURRENCE?
           PRAIRIE, SAVANNAH
     This bluebird is very similar to the Eastern but has a gray belly and the adult male has some blue in the belly, a blue throat, and chestnut extending around onto the scapulars on the back. It breeds from New Mexico and Arizona north along the pacific states into southern British Columbia. It is found in open woodlands, on savannah, and riparian woods. Its song is heard mainly at dawn and is shorter and lower than the Eastern's. There are no records for the coastal area and it is very rare east of Texas and the Dakotas. 
  NOTES:
●  Listed because you should know about it if you travel west...
 
  Family Muscicapidae - Old World Flycatchers, Chats
Wiki     EoL
  115 species, 17 genera - Old World Flycatchers. 155 species, 30 genera - Chats. (Sibley and Monroe, 1990). 275 species, 48 genera (Harris, 2009). 275 species (Clements, 2007; Dickinson, 2003). Worldwide except for Australia and high deserts.
         Tribe Muscicapini – Old World Flycatchers. Restricted to the Old World. These are small insectivores and most capture prey on the wing. They have 10 primaries and the juvenal plumage is usually spotted. They have “scutellate” tarsi (multiple scales) and most species molt only once a year. They have strong rictal bristles and short legs. They have double humeral fossae. They tend to have weak songs and harsh calls. They build sturdy nests in trees or shrubs.  
         Tribe Saxicolini – Chats. Old World. Insectivorous birds including the wheatear (Wiki)(EoL). Most are robust ground feeding species. They have a long slender tarsus, unspotted juvenal plumage, and rictal bristles. Our Yellow-breasted Chat is a Wood-Warbler, not a member of this family.
 

European Robin

European Robin, Erithacus rubecola.
National Garden, Athens, Greece.
                                        Wiki      EoL

Europeann Stonechat

Black Redstart

Black Redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros
Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens, Greece
                                          Wiki      EoL

    All Photos by Ed Konrad.
European Stonechat, Saxicola rubicola National Garden, Athens, Greece
                                  Wiki      EoL
 
       
    Banner - American Robin. Palmetto Lake.