Tuesday, April 26

Demoiselle crane

   ›      ›   Demoiselle crane - Anthropoides virgo.

The demoiselle crane (Anthropoides virgo) belongs to the family Gruidae.
These crane species are distributed in Europe, Asia, Africa and Indian subcontinent.

Taxonomy of Demoiselle crane

  • Scientific Name: Anthropoides virgo
  • Common Name: Demoiselle crane
  • French: Grue demoiselle; German: Jungfernkranich; Spanish: Grulla damisela;
  • Other names: Ardea Virgo Linnaeus 1758; Grus virgo; Grus ornata; koonj in North India;
  • Family: Gruidae › Gruiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Anthropoides virgo is closely related to the common crane (Grus grus).

Description

The demoiselle crane is a large bird, measuring 90 to 100 cm in length and weighing 2000 to 3000 grams. The male bird is slightly larger than the female. The wingspan is 150 to 170 cm. However it is the smallest bird in the family of cranes. It has a white neck stripe. The head and the neck are black and and the chest feathers extend into a black plume. Its call is a loud trumpeting sound.
Indian birds - Anthropoides virgo
Indian birds - Demoiselle crane - Anthropoides virgo
Indian birds - Demoiselle crane - Anthropoides virgo
Indian birds - Anthropoides virgo

Habitat

The demoiselle crane inhabits grasslands close to water-bodies and also wetlands. It also inhabits semi-deserts with close-by water access.

Feeding habits

The demoiselle crane feeds on plant materials such as seeds and also invertebrates, worms and small reptiles.

Breeding

The demoiselle crane breed during April and May. The nest is a shallow scrape on the ground among high grasses and cultivated fields with dry soil.

Distribution

These crane species are distributed in Europe and Central Asia (breeding grounds). They winter in Africa and Indian subcontinent.

Movement Patterns

These crane species are migratory. They migrate from Europe to Africa. The birds from central Asia, cross the Himalayan mountains to get to their wintering grounds in the Indian subcontinent. The southward movement takes place during August and September. They fly back to their northern breeding grounds during March and April.

Status and conservation

The demoiselle crane global population is estimated to number between 230,000 to 280,000 individual birds. The loss of grassland and savanna habitats due to the ever-increasing conversion and expansion of agricultural activities is the main threat to the survival of these bird species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these crane species and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Anthropoides virgo
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Gruidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Anthropoides
Species:A. virgo
Binomial name:Anthropoides virgo
Distribution:Europe, Asia, Indian subcontinent and Africa;
Feeding habits:seeds, invertebrates, grasshoppers, dragonflies, small reptiles and worms;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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1.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Demoiselle_Cranes_at_Tal_Chappar.jpg
Images author: Sumeet Moghe | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Demoiselle_Crane_038.jpg
Images author: Ltshears | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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Sunday, April 24

Andaman crake

   ›      ›   Andaman crake - Rallina canningi.

The Andaman crake (Rallina canningi) belongs to the family Rallidae. These crake species are endemic to India and are distributed in the Andaman Islands.

Taxonomy of Andaman crake

  • Scientific Name: Rallina canningi
  • Common Name: Andaman crake
  • French: Râle des Andaman; German: Andamanenralle; Spanish: Polluela de Andamán;
  • Other names: Euryzona canningi Blyth, 1863; Andaman banded crake; Andamaneese banded crake; Rallina canningi Baker 1929;
  • Family: Rallidae › Gruiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Blyth, 1863)
Rallina canningi is closely related to R. fasciata (red-legged crake) and Porzana fusca (ruddy-breasted crake).
 Indian birds - Andaman crake - Rallina canningi
 Indian birds - Andaman crake - Rallina canningi
 Indian birds - Andaman crake - Rallina canningi
 Indian birds - Rallina canningi

Description

The Andaman crake is the largest Rallina species, measuring about 34 cm in length. It has a glossy chestnut plumage and extensive bold black-and-white barring on the underparts. The undertail-coverts are not barred. The bill and legs are apple-green. The tail is long and fluffy. Its voice is a deep croaking sound. It also makes a sharp clicking alarm call.

Habitat

These crake species inhabit marshland along streams, moist lowland forests, dense and extensive thickets and subtropical or tropical mangrove forests.

Feeding habits

These crake species feed on insects, worms, larvae, mollusks, frogs and fish.

Breeding

These crake species breed between June and August. The nest is a collection of grass and leaves, placed under thick vegetation or at the foot of large forest tree. Sometimes, the nest is constructed on a tree near a water body. Both male and female incubate the eggs. The clutch usually consists of two to four large, white and glossy eggs.

Distribution

These crake species are distributed in the Andaman Islands, in the Bay of Bengal, India and are endemic.

Movement Patterns

These crake species are sedentary and resident in their island habitats. These crake species may move within their range.

Status and conservation

The Andaman crake global population is estimated to be around 10,000 to 25,000 individuals birds. Disturbances in the wetland and forest habitats of these birds and trapping pressure has caused a steep decline in the population. Agricultural operations, forest clearance, road construction, trapping of these birds, introduced predators and filling up of the wetlands are the major threats to the survival of these species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these species and has listed them as "Near Threatened".

Biological classification of Rallina canningi
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Rallidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Rallina
Species:R. canningi
Binomial name:Rallina canningi
Distribution:Endemic to Andaman Islands in India;
Feeding habits:invertebrates, grasshoppers, dragonflies, crustaceans, mollusks, fish and frogs;
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened

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Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Andamen_Crake1.JPG
Images author: T R Shankar Raman | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
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Friday, April 22

Masked finfoot

   ›      ›   Masked finfoot - Heliopais personatus.

The masked finfoot (Heliopais personatus) belongs to the family Heliornithidae. The masked finfoot species are distributed in the Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Taxonomy of Masked finfoot

  • Scientific Name: Heliopais personatus
  • Common Name: Masked finfoot
  • French: Grébifoulque d’Asie; German: Maskenbinsenralle; Spanish: Avesol asiático;
  • Other names: Podica personata; Heliopais personata; Asian finfoot;
  • Family: Heliornithidae › Gruiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (G.R. Gray, 1849)
Heliopais personatus is closely related to Podica senegalensis (African finfoot) and Heliornis fulica (sungrebe).

Indian bird - Masked finfoot - Heliopais personatus
Indian bird - Masked finfoot - Heliopais personatus
Indian birds - Heliopais personatus
Heliopais personatus

Description

The masked finfoot is a medium sized aquatic bird, measuring 45 to 55 cm in length. The males and females are similar in size. Both the genders have a black mask and eyebrow. They also have a white eye-ring and lateral cervical stripe. The male has brown eyes, black throat and horns whereas the female lacks horns and has yellow eyes and whitish chin and throat. The bill is bright yellow in males and is creamy yellow in females. Males have bright green legs and feet. They are known to make bubbling sounds and clacking calls.

Habitat

These finfoot species inhabit lowland riverine forests, mangroves, tidal creeks, vegetated wetlands, overgrown ponds, flooded forests, swamps, lakes, fresh and brackish wetlands.

Feeding habits

The masked finfoot species feed on adults and larval aquatic invertebrates, dragonflies, crustaceans, mollusks, fish and frogs. They may move on to the banks to forage.

Breeding

The masked finfoot is believed to breed in the rainy season during June to September. It builds nest with small sticks, long leaves, grass and reeds. The clutch usually has three to seven eggs. The chicks are feed with small fish, insects and shrimp.

Distribution

The masked finfoot species are distributed in Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Movement Patterns

The masked finfoot migrant populations are observed in some parts of Southeast Asia. These finfoot species usually move around only in their range.

Status and conservation

The masked finfoot global population is estimated to be around 2,500 birds. Disturbances in the wetland habitats of these birds had caused a steep decline in the population. Agricultural operations, forest clearance and filling up of the wetlands are the major threats to the survival of these species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these finfoot species and has listed them as "Endangered".

Biological classification of Heliopais personatus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Heliornithidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Heliopais
Species:H. personatus
Binomial name:Heliopais personatus
Distribution:Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia;
Feeding habits:adults and larval aquatic invertebrates, dragonflies, crustaceans, mollusks, fish and frogs;
IUCN status listing:
Endangered

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Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Masked_Finfoot.jpg
Images author: Tunpin.ong | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Masked finfoot - Heliopais personatus.
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