Birds of the World

COAST BIRDS
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  Index
WORLD BIRDS
  Contents
  Index

ANECDOTES

  Muscicapids
 
 
 

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, Passerida, Muscicapoidea -
    Starlings, Mimids
 
Skip to:   
Passerida, Muscicapoidea
Family: Philippine Creepers, Starlings, Mimids
 
Species:   
Galapagos Mockingbird, Charles Mockingbird, Hood Mockingbird, Chathan Mockingbird
 
Skip to:   
Darwin and Mockingbirds
 
Images:   
European Starling, Common Mnnah, Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, Brown Thrasher
   
  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.
   
  Philippine Creepers
This relatively obscure group of 3 species endemic to the Philippines has usually been placed with the babblers  - Family Timaliidae (or occasionally with the Northern creepers - Family Certhiidae). Sibley and Monroe (1990) place them with the babblers in the Tribe Timaliini, Family Sylviidae. Zuccon et al. (2006) place them as a basal clade in the starlings - Famiy Sturnidae. Color patterens are similar to that of some Aplonis starlings.
 
  Family Rhabdornithidae - Philippine Creepers
Wiki     EoL
  3 (2) species, 1 genus. Endemic to the Philippine Islands. Clements (2007) and Harris (2009) place the Babblers in their own family,
   These are small birds with a short neck and use their thin, pointed, decurved bills and feed on insects gleaned from bark. They forage by moving from branch to branch - resembling tits - and are not truly scansorial. However, they also have brush-tipped tongues and can feed on nectar and small fruits. They may also take flying termites. They live in lowland to submontane forests and second growth. They have brown upperparts and a black facial mask through the eyes  and ear coverts. Underparts are white with streaked flanks or dull with brownish streaks. They are arboreal and may frequent mixed flocks of bulbuls, nuthatches, or fantails. They perch crosswise on branches.
   They appear to be hole nesters but little is known about their breeding.
 
  Starlings and Mimic Thrushes
Sister group to the Old World flycatchers. Sibley and Monroe (1990) place the following families in the Subfamily Sturnini and Subfamily Mimini:
 
  Family Sturnidae - Starlings, Mynas, Oxpeckers
Wiki      Wiki      Wiki     EoL
EXAMPLE
  114 (114-115) species, 24 (25) genera. Larger sturnids are known as mynas and there are two species of oxpeckers, sub-Saharan sturnids that feed on the blood of large savannah animals. They are found in the Old World (sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Middle East, Southern Asia and major Pacific islands with some reaching tropical Australia. Several species have been introduced into North America (including Hawaii), Australia, and New Zealand.
   Sturnids are small to medium-sized and compact passerids with stout legs and feet and a characteristic walking gait. They are strong fliers and they are highly gregarious and aggressive, occurring in large mixed flocks in off-season. They readily adapt to new environments...
    They eat a variety of food - both animal and plant material - fruit, seeds, nectar, and pollen. Oxpeckers are specialized insectivores. They may feed by opening their bill after inserting it in the ground or vegetation (“zirkeln”). They have a straight or slightly arched and pointed bill and a short, squarish tail. Sexes are alike (monomorphic). Their plumage is often iridescent and they have a single annual molt. Starlings have 10 primaries, the 10th usually being very short. The juvenile plumage is typically streaked. Their adult colors are iridescent in many species. Starlings have complex song which imbeds sounds from their environment – mechanical and biological, often anticipating the arrival of migrants by mimicking their song. Mynas are as adept as parrots at imitating human voices.
   Sturnids are monogamous or semicolonial. Nests are bundles of plant materials placed in holes, crevices, or nest boxes. Some species excavate their own holes, others use available holes, competing with woodpeckers, bluebirds, parids, etc. for this limited resource. The Shining Starling builds a hanging nest with a side entrance. They lay 1-6 eggs which are incubated by the female for 11-18 days. Young fledge after 15-25 days. 
   European Starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, were introduced in New York in the 1890s by a New York pharmacologist and Shakespeare fan who wanted to introduce all the birds mentioned by Shakespeare into North America. Starlings have now spread across North America, reaching the West Coast and the edge of boreal Canada by 1960. (it is migratory in northern areas of its range).
   Elsewhere the Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis (Wiki), has spread following its introduction (increasing in southern Florida). As familiar birds, Europeans brought them along!    
 
European Starling
Eurasian Mynah
 
European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris.
Palmetto Lake
                                             SI Web
Common Mynah, Acridotheres tristis. Dubai, UAE. Photo by Ed Konrad
An Asian species introduced into many areas of the world inclusing Hawaii.
                                                                                                             Wiki     EoL
 
  Family Mimidae – Mockingbirds, Thrashers,  Catbirds
Wiki     Wiki      Wikl      Wiki      EoL
EXAMPLE
  34 (35-34) species, 11 (12) genera. New World, most forested areas except the Amazon basin. There are four species of Galapagos mockingbirds. Their obvious descent from a common ancestor was noted by Charles Darwin in the Galapagos and contributed significantly to his formulation of evolution by natural selection.
   Mimids are medium in size and tend toward grays and browns. They have slender, usually decurved bills, large 10th primaries, and obvious rictal bristles. The juvenal plumage is unspotted and they have a single molt. Sexes have similar plumage (they are monomorphic). The tarsi are covered with multiple scales (“scutellate”). Humeral fossa are double. They are noted for their vocalizations, including mimicry of a variety of sounds heard in their environment.
   They are terrestrial, feeding on or near the ground. They feed on a variety of food (most are insectivorous but will eat some fruit). Their complex songs often imitate phrases of others or incorporate environmental sounds. They may defend territories (including food sources - a holly or a mulberry tree) year round. They tend to be solitary.
   Most species are monogamous. Nest sites are usually in dense low shrubs, often near the ground (some nest on the ground or in cavities). Bulky, bowl-shaped nests include coarse plant material and are often well protected by dense vegetation. they usually lay 3-5 eggs. Both parents (or just the female) may incubate (12-13 days). In some, hatching is asynchronous. Young fledge in 19 days or less. Both parents help feed the young. Most species raise 2-3 broods/year.
   Three species (Gray Catbird, Northern Mockingbird, and Brown Thrasher) occur year-round on Seabrook.
  Gray Catbird
Northern Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
 
Gray Catbird, Dumetella carolinensis. Clemson
                                                        SI Web
Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum. POA
                                                        SI Web
 
Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottus. Equestrian Center
                                                        SI Web
 
  Banner - Northern Mockingbird.