Tuesday, November 7

Black-tailed godwit photos

   ›      ›   Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa photos
Taxonomic classification   <>   Photos
The black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) belongs to the family Scolopacidae under the order Charadriiformes.

Black-tailed godwit taxonomy

The family Scolopacidae was first introduced (as Scolopacea) by Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz (October 22, 1783 – September 18, 1840), a zoologist, botanist, writer and polyglot, in the year 1815. The family Scolopacidae comprises 15 genera.

The genus Limosa was first described by Mathurin Jacques Brisson (30 April 1723 – 23 June 1806), a French zoologist and natural philosopher, in the year 1760. The genus Limosa comprises four species. The type species of this genus is Scolopax limosa (Limosa limosa).

The species Limosa limosa was first described by Carl Linnaeus (23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist in the year 1758. It is a polytypic species and comprises three subspecies, viz., Limosa limosa limosa (Linnaeus, 1758), Limosa limosa islandica Brehm, 1831 and Limosa limosa melanuroides Gould, 1846.
Taxonomic classification
Binomial name:Limosa limosa
Species:L. limosa
Genus:Limosa
Subfamily:-
Family:Scolopacidae
Order:Charadriiformes
Class:Aves
Phylum:Chordata
Kingdom:Animalia
Limosa limosa
1.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa 336
Photo by Frebeck

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Limosa limosa
2.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
Photo by Frank Vassen

Limosa limosa
3.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
Photo by Frebeck

Limosa limosa
4.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
Photo by Frank Vassen

Limosa limosa
5.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
Photo by ARIJIT MONDAL

Limosa limosa
6.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
Photo by Kaiserm123

Limosa limosa
7.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
Photo by Alpsdake

Limosa limosa
8.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa egg
Photo by Didier Descouens

Limosa limosa
9.Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
Photo by Charlesjsharp

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1.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uferschnepfe_kleine_Flutmulde_Futtersuche.jpg (cropped)
Author: Frebeck | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
2.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black-tailed_Godwit_(Limosa_limosa),_Uitkerkse_Polders,_Belgium_(7173198852).jpg (cropped)
Author: Frank Vassen | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 11/6/17
3.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uferschnepfe_Futtersuche_Flutmulde.JPG (cropped)
Author: Frebeck | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
4.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/42244964@N03/13972419269/ (cropped)
Author: Frank Vassen | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 11/6/17
5.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ballerina.jpg (cropped)
Author: ARIJIT MONDAL | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
6.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:20150400_uferschnepfe_callantsoog.jpg (cropped)
Author: Kaiserm123 | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
7.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Limosa_limosa_melanuroides.JPG (cropped)
Author: Alpsdake | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
8.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Limosa_limosa_MHNT.jpg (cropped)
Author: Didier Descouens | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
9.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Black-tailed_godwit_(limosa_limosa).jpg (cropped)
Author: Charlesjsharp | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa photos.
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Monday, November 6

Black-tailed godwit

   ›      ›   Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa

The black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) belongs to the family of snipes and godwits, the Scolopacidae.

The black-tailed godwit species is distributed in the Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia. These godwit species are listed by IUCN as "Near Threatened". These godwits are polytypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Black-tailed Godwit Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is a fairly large godwit, measuring 35 to 45 cm in length. These birds are sexually dimorphic, the male weighs 160 to 440 grams and the female weighs 250 to 500 grams.

The black-tailed godwit has dull pink-chestnut breast, upper belly, neck and head during summer. The wintering birds have pale grayish brown plumage. There is a pale supercilium and a dark lore. There is dark brown barring on the back and wings. The tail is black.

The godwit bill is long and straight. It is orange yellow near the base and blackish towards the distal end. In wintering birds, the base of the bill is pinkish. The irises are dark. The legs are long and dark gray in color. The feet project well beyond tail in flight.

In flight, the characteristic white wing-bar, white rump and blackish tail are clearly seen. The godwit call is a strident "weeka..weeka..weeka" or subdued, plaintive "kip..kip..kip" or "chut..chut..chut" sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
1.Birds of India - Image of Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa by Frank Vassen

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Birds of India - Photo of Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
2.Indian birds - Picture of Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa by Frebeck

Indian birds - Image of Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa
3.Birds of India - Photo of Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa by Frebeck

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The black-tailed godwit species is distributed in Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and Asia.

The black-tailed godwit nominate subspecies L. l. limosa is distributed in west and central Europe and western Russia. This subspecies winters in Mediterranean region, sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan and western India.

The black-tailed godwit subspecies L. l. islandica is distributed in Iceland, Faroe Islands (Denmark), Shetland Islands (UK) and Lofoten Islands (Norway). This godwit subspecies winters in Ireland, Britain, western France, Spain and Portugal.

The godwit subspecies L. l. melanuroides is distributed in central Russia, east Mongolia, northeast China and northeast Russia. This subspecies winters in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia and Taiwan.

In India, wintering black-tailed godwits are distributed in Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Vagrant black-tailed godwits have been observed in United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa, Congo, Malawi, Comoros, Madagascar, Maldives, Greenland (Denmark) and New Zealand.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these black-tailed godwit species in India are, Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary, Veeranam Lake, Chilika Lake, Kunthur - Kallur Lakes, Kaj Lake and Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.

The IBA of these black-tailed godwit species in Iceland are, Skúmsstadavatn, Ósasvædi Ölfusár, Hólmarnir and Austara Eylendid. The IBA in China are, Coastal mudflat of Tianjin, Shuangtai Estuary, Yalu Jiang Estuary and Kaidu River Valley.

Some of the IBA of these black-tailed godwit species in Russia are, Khayryuzova bay, Malakchan bay, Moroshechnaya River, Nevskoye Lake, Chonta, Bylinskaya, Ubinskoye Lake, Kurtan Lake. Chernoye Lake, Ul'skoye bog, Tsninski Forest and Manychstroi area. E

Ecosystem and habitat

These black-tailed godwit species do not normally occur in forest. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 1000 meters.

The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these godwit species include agricultural lands, pasture lands and urban areas.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these black-tailed godwit species include, wetlands, estuaries, freshwater lakes, lagoons, marine lakes, tide pools, mudflats, marshes, and temperate grasslands.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these black-tailed godwit consists mainly of insects. Insects, insect larvae, chironomid larvae, beetles, grasshoppers, locust, cicadas, crickets, spiders, maggots, annelid and polychaete worms, molluscs and crustaceans are their primary food.

These godwits also feed on seeds, grains and berries. These species forage on the ground and in shallow water, picking insects and other small prey. The bill is very sensitive and is used for probing mud for locating prey.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these black-tailed godwit species is from April to June in most of their breeding range. They breed in loose colonies. These birds are monogamous. Both of the pair build their nest.

The nesting sites of the black-tailed godwit include grounds with high grass and soft soil, pasturelands, hayfields, wet grasslands, grassy marshlands, steppes and occasionally sandy areas.

The black-tailed godwit nest is a shallow scrape lined with thick layer of stem grass, leaves and other plant material. The clutch may contain three to six olive-green eggs with brown mottling. The breeding pair take turns to incubate the eggs for 23-25 days. The godwit chicks may fledge 25-30 days after hatching.

Migration and movement patterns

These black-tailed godwit species are fully migrant birds.

Migratory black-tailed godwit populations occur in Iceland, central and northern Europe, central and northwest Asia, Mongolia, northern China and northeast Russia. They migrate on a broad front and make long-distance southward flights during July and October for wintering.

The wintering populations of black-tailed godwit make return migration to the breeding grounds from February to April. Many one-year old birds may remain in their wintering range during the summer. Non-breeding birds in the breeding range may make nomadic feeding movements.

Black-tailed godwit - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Limosa limosa
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Scolopax Limosa Linnaeus, 1758
  • Family: Scolopacidae › Charadriiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Black-tailed godwit, Chinese: 黑尾塍鹬, French: Barge à queue noire, German: Uferschnepfe, Spanish: Aguja colinegra, Russian: Большой веретенник, Japanese: オグロシギ, Tamil: Karuvaal Mookkaan
  • Other names: Black Tailed Godwit
  • Distribution: Indian subcontinent, southeast Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, Asia
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, insect larvae, caterpillars, beetles, locust, grasshoppers, crickets, worms, molluscs, crustaceans
  • IUCN status listing: Near Threatened (NT)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is estimated to be around 614,000 to 809,000 individual birds. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be declining.

Throughout its range, this godwit species is reported to be scarce to locally common. The generation length is 8.6 years. Its distribution size is about 30,300,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration and destruction, the draining of wetlands for expansion of agriculture, expanding aquaculture activities and livestock farming and ranching are the main threats that are endangering the survival of this godwit species.

IUCN and CITES status

The black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is approaching the thresholds for being Vulnerable under the range size criterion, under the population trend criterion and under the population size criterion.

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

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘ Not Evaluated’ for black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Limosa limosa
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Scolopacidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Limosa
Species:L. limosa
Binomial name:Limosa limosa
IUCN status listing:
Near Threatened
The black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) is closely related to Hudsonian godwit (Limosa haemastica) and was previously considered conspecific to L. haemastica.

The three recognized subspecies of black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa) are: Limosa limosa limosa (Linnaeus, 1758), Limosa limosa islandica C. L. Brehm, 1831 and Limosa limosa melanuroides (eastern black tailed godwit) Gould, 1846.
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1.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black-tailed_Godwit_(Limosa_limosa),_Uitkerkse_Polders,_Belgium_(7173198852).jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Frank Vassen | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 11/6/17
2.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uferschnepfe_kleine_Flutmulde_Futtersuche.jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Frebeck | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
3.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uferschnepfe_Futtersuche_Flutmulde.JPG (cropped)
Photo author: Frebeck | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Black-tailed godwit - Limosa limosa.
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Sunday, November 5

White-tailed lapwing photos

   ›      ›   White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus photos
Taxonomic classification   <>   Photos
The white-tailed lapwing (Vanellus leucurus) belongs to the family Charadriidae under the order Charadriiformes.

White-tailed lapwing taxonomy

The family Charadriidae was introduced by William Elford Leach, MD, FRS (2 February 1791 – 25 August 1836), an English zoologist and marine biologist, in a guide to the contents of the British Museum published in 1820. It comprises two subfamilies, viz., Vanellinae and Charadriinae.

The subfamily Vanellinae was first described by Charles Lucien Jules Laurent Bonaparte, (24 May 1803 – 29 July 1857), a French biologist and ornithologist, in the year 1842. The subfamily Vanellinae comprises two genera, namely, Erythrogonys and Vanellus.

The genus Vanellus was first described by Mathurin Jacques Brisson, a French zoologist and natural philosopher, in the year 1760. The genus Vanellus comprises 24 species.

The species Vanellus leucurus was first introduced (as Charadrius leucurus) by Martin Hinrich Carl Lichtenstein, a German botanist and zoologist, in the year 1823.
Taxonomic classification
Binomial name:Vanellus leucurus
Species:V. leucurus
Genus:Vanellus
Subfamily:-
Family:Charadriidae
Order:Charadriiformes
Class:Aves
Phylum:Chordata
Kingdom:Animalia
Vanellus leucurus
1.White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus 339
Photo by Kishore Bhargava

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Vanellus leucurus
2.White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
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Vanellus leucurus
3.White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
Photo by Ron Knight

Vanellus leucurus
4.White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
Photo by Noorhussainpk

Vanellus leucurus
5.White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
Photo by J.M.Garg

Vanellus leucurus
6.White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
Photo by J.M.Garg

Vanellus leucurus
7.White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
Photo by J.M.Garg

Vanellus leucurus
8.White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
Photo by Baldhur

Vanellus leucurus
9.Vanellus leucurus Photo by Jimfbleak

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1.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kbhargava/8648375984/ (cropped)
Author: Kishore Bhargava | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 as on 11/4/17
2.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Davidraju_IMG_3594_(cropped).jpg (cropped)
Author: Davidvraju | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White-tailed_Lapwing_(Vanellus_leucurus)_(8079438406).jpg (cropped)
Author: Ron Knight | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 11/4/17
4.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org (cropped)
Author: Noorhussainpk | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
5.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org (cropped)
Author: J.M.Garg | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
6.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org (cropped)
Author: J.M.Garg | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
7.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org (cropped)
Author: J.M.Garg | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
8.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Weissschwanzkiebitz.jpg (cropped)
Author: Baldhur | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
9.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vanellus_leucurus_Dubai.jpg (cropped)
Author: Jimfbleak | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
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Saturday, November 4

White-tailed lapwing

   ›      ›   White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus

The white-tailed lapwing (Vanellus leucurus) belongs to the family of plovers and lapwings, the Charadriidae.

The white-tailed lapwing species is distributed in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, West Asia, northeast Africa and central Asia. These lapwing species are also known as white-tailed plovers. These lapwings are monotypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of White-tailed Lapwing Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The white-tailed lapwing (Vanellus leucurus) is a fairly large lapwing, measuring 25 to 30 cm in length and weighing 100 to 200 grams. Both the sexes look alike.

The white-tailed lapwing has grayish brown plumage without obvious patterning. The face and forehead are pale grayish brown. The supercilium is pale and indistinct. The tail is whitish. The breast region is dark grayish brown. The juveniles have conspicuously variegated upperparts.

The bill is black and is rather long for a lapwing. The irises are dark brown. The feet are very long and yellow. It has elegant gait. The feet project well beyond tail in flight. The white-tailed lapwing call is a squeaking "pet..ee..wit" or subdued, plaintive "pee-wick" sound.
Indian birds - Picture of White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
1.Birds of India - Image of White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus by Davidvraju

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2.Indian birds - Picture of White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus by Kishore Bhargava

Indian birds - Image of White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus
3.Birds of India - Photo of White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus by Ron Knight

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The white-tailed lapwing species are distributed in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Egypt, Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

Vagrant white-tailed lapwings have been observed in United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, Nigeria, Tunisia, Niger, Morocco, Libya and Algeria.

In India, wintering populations of white-tailed lapwing occur in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these white-tailed lapwings in Iran are Horeh Bamdej, Shadegan marshes and tidal mudflats of Khor-al Amaya and Khor Musa. The IBA in Sudan is Lake Abiad.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these lapwings in Iraq are Baquba wetlands and Razzaza Lake (Bahr Al Milh). The IBA in South Sudan is Lake Abiad (South Sudan).

Ecosystem and habitat

These white-tailed lapwing species do not normally occur in forest. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 1000 meters.

The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these lapwing species include water reservoirs, canals, drainage channels, aquaculture ponds and wastewater treatment areas.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these white-tailed lapwing species include, coastal freshwater lakes, lagoons, marine lakes, tide pools, mudflats, marshes, rivers, streams and creeks.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these white-tailed lapwing consists mainly of insects. Caterpillars, insects, insect larvae, beetles, grasshoppers, locust, crickets, dragonflies, cicadas, spiders, maggots, worms, molluscs and crustaceans are their primary food.

These lapwings also feed on seeds, grains, leaves and flowers. These species forage on the ground, picking insects and other small prey. Ploughed fields and grasslands are their favorite feeding grounds.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these white-tailed lapwing species is during April to May in most of their breeding range. They breed in loose colonies. These birds are monogamous.

The nesting sites are usually located on damp, vegetated areas near water and dry ridges. The nest is a shallow scrape on the ground.

The lapwing clutch contains three to four eggs. The breeding pair take turns to incubate the eggs. The chicks hatch out after 25 days. The parents brood the chicks. The chicks are precocial and are able feed themselves.

Migration and movement patterns

These white-tailed lapwing species are partially migrant birds.

Migratory white-tailed lapwing populations occur in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, northwest Afghanistan, northwest Iran, parts of Turkey, Syria and Azerbaijan. These breeding populations migrate southwards for wintering.

Wintering lapwing populations occur in Sudan, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, west and northwest India. These populations arrive at their breeding grounds in early summer.

The white-tailed lapwing populations in parts of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan are resident. Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

White-tailed lapwing - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Vanellus leucurus
  • Species author: (Lichtenstein, 1823)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Charadrius leucurus M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823
  • Family: Charadriidae › Charadriiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: White-tailed lapwing, Chinese: 白尾麦鸡, French: Vanneau à queue blanche, German: Weißschwanzkiebitz, Spanish: Avefría coliblanca, Russian: Белохвостая пигалица , Japanese: オジロゲリ
  • Other names: white-tailed plover
  • Distribution: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, West Asia, northeast Africa, central Asia
  • Diet and feeding habits: caterpillars, insects, insect larvae, beetles, locust, grasshoppers, crickets, worms, molluscs, crustaceans
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the white-tailed lapwing (Vanellus leucurus) is estimated to be around 20,000 to 130,000 individual birds. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be fluctuating.

Throughout its range, this lapwing species is reported to be scarce to locally common. The generation length is 9 years. Its distribution size is about 6,840,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration and destruction, the draining of wetlands for expansion of agriculture are the main threats that are endangering the survival of this lapwing species.

IUCN and CITES status

The white-tailed lapwing (Vanellus leucurus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the lapwing species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘ Not Evaluated’ for white-tailed lapwing (Vanellus leucurus).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Vanellus leucurus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Charadriidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Vanellus
Species:V. leucurus
Binomial name:Vanellus leucurus
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The white-tailed lapwing (Vanellus leucurus) is closely related to sociable lapwing (Vanellus gregarius).
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1.Photo source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Davidraju_IMG_3594_(cropped).jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Davidvraju | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kbhargava/8648375984/ (cropped)
Photo author: Kishore Bhargava | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 as on 11/4/17
3.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:White-tailed_Lapwing_(Vanellus_leucurus)_(8079438406).jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Ron Knight | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 11/4/17
Current topic in Birds of India: White-tailed lapwing - Vanellus leucurus.
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Friday, November 3

Mangrove whistler

   ›      ›   Mangrove whistler - Pachycephala cinerea

The mangrove whistler (Pachycephala cinerea) belongs to the family of whistlers and shrikethrushes, the Pachycephalidae.

The mangrove whistler species is distributed in India, Bangladesh and southeast Asia. These species are also known as the grey thickhead and white-bellied whistler. These whistlers are polytypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Mangrove Whistler Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The mangrove whistler (Pachycephala cinerea) is a medium-sized whistler, measuring 15 to 27 cm in length and weighing 20 to 25 grams. Both the sexes look alike.

The crown of the mangrove whistler is ashy gray. The forehead is light gray. The upperparts and wings are uniformly grayish brown. The chin and throat are whitish. The breast is pale gray. The rest of the underparts are white.

The bill is black. The irises are dark brown. The feet are silvery gray. The whistler call is a loud whistling "pee..purr..chiaoonkk" sound.
Indian birds - Image of Mangrove whistler - Pachycephala cinerea
1.Birds of India - Image of Mangrove whistler - Pachycephala cinerea by Dibyendu Ash

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Origin, geographical range and distribution

The mangrove whistler species are distributed in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines. The subspecies P. c. plateni is distributed in Palawan Islands, in west Philippines.

The mangrove whistler nominate subspecies P. c. cinerea is distributed in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia.

In India, the mangrove whistler species occur in the states of West Bengal and Odisha and also in the Union Territory of Andaman Islands.

Ecosystem and habitat

These mangrove whistler species have moderate forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 1000 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these whistler species include rural gardens, casuarina and eucalyptus plantations and urban parks.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these mangrove whistler species include, tropical and subtropical mangrove forests, tropical and subtropical moist montane forests and moist lowland forests.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these mangrove whistler consists mainly of insects. Insects, insect larvae, beetles, grasshoppers, locust, crickets, dragonflies, cicadas, moths, butterflies, crickets, spiders and airborne ants and termites are their primary food.

These mangrove whistler species hunt insect prey by sallying. They may form feeding flocks with other small birds. They hawk airborne insects and also glean their prey from the foliage and branches of trees.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these whistler species is from April to July in India. In much of southeast Asia the breeding season is from March to June. The laying season is during April in Java (Indonesia).

The nesting sites are usually located on small trees 1-4 meters above the ground. The clutch contains two eggs.

Migration and movement patterns

These mangrove whistler species are non-migrant, resident birds.

Post breeding, the juvenile whistlers may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Mangrove whistler - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Pachycephala cinerea
  • Species author: (Blyth, 1847)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Muscitrea cinerea Blyth, 1847
  • Family: Pachycephalidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Mangrove whistler, Chinese: 红树啸鹟, French: Siffleur cendré, German: Schnäpperdickkopf, Spanish: Silbador de manglar, Russian: Белобрюхий свистун, Japanese: マングローブモズヒタキ, Indonesian: Burung Kancilan Bakau
  • Other names: White-bellied Whistler
  • Distribution: India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines
  • Diet and feeding habits: caterpillars, insects, insect larvae, beetles, airborne ants and termites, grasshoppers
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the mangrove whistler (Pachycephala cinerea) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

Throughout its range, this species is reported to be scarce to locally fairly common. The generation length is 6.7 years. Its distribution size is about 7,600,000 sq.km.

Mangrove habitat alteration and destruction, developments in coastal aquaculture and expansion of agriculture are the main threats that are endangering the survival of this whistler species.

IUCN and CITES status

The mangrove whistler (Pachycephala cinerea) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

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

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘ Not Evaluated’ for mangrove whistler (Pachycephala cinerea).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Pachycephala cinerea
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Pachycephalidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Pachycephala
Species:P. cinerea
Binomial name:Pachycephala cinerea
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The mangrove whistler (Pachycephala cinerea) is closely related to the green-backed whistler (Pachycephala albiventris) and the white-vented whistler (Pachycephala homeyeri).

The two recognized subspecies of mangrove whistler (Pachycephala cinerea) are: Pachycephala cinerea cinerea (Blyth, 1847) and Pachycephala cinerea plateni (A. W. H. Blasius, 1888).
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Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mangrove_Whistler.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Dibyendu Ash | License: CC BY-SA 3.0
Current topic in Birds of India: Mangrove whistler - Pachycephala cinerea.
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