Birds of the World. A-Z of Bird Genera.Part-1

Emerald chinned Hummingbird

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Introduction.

In this series A-Z of bird genera,I aim to review some fascinating birds from all over the globe.In this the first in the series we review the five genera that commence with the letter A. The first subject to be reviewed is the Emerald chinned hummingbird Abeillia abeillei which is the only member of the genus Abelillia. { Illustrated above}.

Abeillia abeillei.

The Emerald -chinned hummingbird,is found in El Salvador,Guatamala, Honduras,mexico and Nicaragua. There are two recognized sub-species,Abeillia abeillei abeillei that occurs in south east Mexico to Guatemala,El.Salvador and north west Honduras,and Abeillia abiellei aurea,found in south Honduras and northern Nicaragua. The race A.a.aurea or the validity of the race aurea has been questioned.

The male is 7-7.5 cm long {up to three inches} and weighs just 2.7 grams. He has a short black bill. The back is a metallic bronze-green,with a broad postocular spot. The chin and upper throat are a shining emerald green from which the bird takes its common name.

It is a bird that frequents the understory of tropical forests on mountains. Here it forages very low above the ground. The feed on the nectar of plants such as the Verbenaceae. They will also take insects by means of hawking. The birds will defend nectar rich flower stands in a locality.

In February and March they construct a cup-shaped abode constructed of plant fibre and cobwebs are incorporated to strengthen the structure. It is usually located in vertical shoots six to nine feet above the ground.

Black faced warbler

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Illustration of the Red faced warbler

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Yellow bellied warbler

Uploaded to Commons via Shyamal
Uploaded to Commons via Shyamal | Source

The genus Abroscopus

The second genus under review is Abroscopus,which is a small genus of warblers in the family Cettidae,they were once included with the Sylviidae. The genus has three species. The Rufous faced warbler {Illustrated right}. The black faced warbler and the Yellow bellied warbler.

The Red faced warbler,Abroscopus albogularis is a like the others a species of bush warbler. It is a bird of Asia found in Bangladesh,Bhutan,China,India,Laos,Myanmar,Nepal,Tawain,Thailand and Vietnam,where it frequents sub-tropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

The Black faced warbler Abroscopus schisticeps is another species found in Asia including China,Nepal and Vietnam,where it frequents sub-tropical or tropical moist,lowland forests and moist montane forests. It is a rather small,slim warbler with a distinctive head patterning. The nominal race has the crown ,the nape and sides of the neck,grey,with a bold yellow eye stripe,almost meeting the forehead.

Like most warblers they feed almost exclusively on insects which it procures chiefly in the upper canopy,especially among creepers.

The third species in this genus is the Yellow bellied warbler.It is found in similar countries as the two previous species and shares a similar habitat. The bird is know by several common names including the Bamboo warbler,and there are ten recognized sub species.

It is a small slim yellow and olive warbler with a relatively large bill and short narrow tail. it frequents the under growth in forests,especially bamboos by streams in low hills and mountain foothills. They feed on insects and spiders.

Wattled Guan

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The genus Aburria.

The genus Aburria features the Wattled Guan. This amazing species is found in Colombia,Ecuador,Peru and Venezuela, where it frequents the tropical and sub tropical moist lowland and also montane forests. This bird is a member of the Cracidae family and the Order of birds known as the Galliformes.

It is a large black bird with a blue based bill with a black tip,and a long red and yellow wattle, that droops down from its throat. it has a long,black tail which gives it a total length of over thirty inches and weighs up to 55 ounces. The feet are flesh coloured.

It is a very elusive bird and like many of its congeners,more often heard than seen.When it is observable it is usually on the outer edge of the forest canopy and chiefly only seen at a distance. It is endemic to the foothills of the Andes in South America. it occurs from 500-2,500 metres {up to 8,200 feet}.

It is now classed as a Near Threatened species because of a slow ongoing decline due to habitat loss and hunting pressures. The latest estimate is a population of 6,700 individual mature birds.`

Spiny cheeked honey eater.

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The Spiny cheeked Honey eater.

The genus Acanthagenys is another genus that has only one member,Acanthagenys `rufogularis,the Spiny Cheeked Honey Eater. It is relatively large for a Honey eater,which all,belong to the family Meliphagidae. It ranges from 22-27 cm,and weighs about 52 g.

It is a grey-brown bird with a burnt orange throat and chest. The wings are grey edged with white.They have a long tail with white tips.The bill is pink except at the tip which is black. A dull white patch on its rump is very conspicuous when in flight. It is a rather noisy bird and often betrays its presence by aloud gutteral call usually given from a shady perch. They are aggressive birds and often seen in large flocks during autumn and winter.the bird is named after the white spiny bristles on its cheeks.

The song is regarded as being rather pleasant and is performed by both sexes. It comprises a variety of whistles that last for about six seconds.It is also know to mimic other bird species. The nest is neat and cup-shaped,it looks a delicate structure but in fact is rather strong. Suspended among the branches a few metres above the ground.It is composed of twigs,leaves,grasses and cemented with spiders webs,and lined with wool or plant down. The female will deposit 2-3 eggs which are incubated for a period of up to 15 days. The young fledge in a further 15-20 days.


Peg billed finch.

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The genus Acanthidops,

Acanthidops is another genus with but a single member, the peg billed finch. { However, it is not a true finch and it was classed with the Emberizidae {buntings} before being placed currently with the Tanager family Thraupidae}.

It is a small Passerine {perching bird] whose specific name of bairdii,alludes to the American ornithologist Spencer Fullerton Baird. The adult male is slate grey becoming paler on the belly. It is about five and a half inches long and weighs 16 grams. The tail is relatively long. The bill is also relatively long and upturned. The upper mandible is black the lower one yellow. The female is olive brown above,becoming paler below. There is a grey tinge on her head and upper back. She has reddish wing bars and a pale eye stripe.

It may be encountered at the edges or clearings in mountain forests and in shrub growth,bamboo clumps also seem to be favoured along bushy pastures. It frequents such places from altitudes of 1500 metres to the tree line. They feed on insects and spiders but also grass seeds,they have been observed to take nectar from flowers and the juice from berries.

Female rifleman

Taken at the Lake Sylvan Circuit.
Taken at the Lake Sylvan Circuit. | Source

The genus Acanthisitta.

The genus Acanthisitta has one species and two sub-species. The species Acanthisiita chloris is often referred to as the 'rifleman'.after a Colonial New Zealand regiment,the colours of its plumage having similar colours to the uniform of that regiment.

It is small wren-like passerine bird,sometimes called the New Zealand wren,however, they are not related to the true wrens of the family Troglodytidae nor to the fairy wrens of Australia. It is New Zealand's smallest endemic bird species ,when full grown measuring three and a quarter inches {8 cm } long.

The plumage consists of a bright green flecked with brown,the under side white. The eye stripe is also white. The female has much more brown in her plumage although the undersides are as as white as in the male.. They have short rounded wings,very short tail and a thin bill,which is slightly upturned. The wing beats produces a sound very similar to that of the Hummingbird.

It is a bird of thinly wooded regions,however, some frequent rocky outcrops.The sub-species Acanthisitta acanthistta granti,occurs mainly in lowland forests on the North island while the sub species A.a chloris is found at high altitudes on the South Island.

They search for insects on the tree trunks and in the leaf litter. They begin their search at the base of a tree and works upwards in the manner of a tree creeper. The birds were once very common across New Zealand but land development,habitat loss,and other factors have led to the populations becoming isolated in many regions.

That concludes part one of the series,in which we have reviewed birds from South America,South Africa,Australia, New Zealand and Asia among other locations. In Part -2 we will see which parts of the globe we are taken to as the bird genera begining with A continues.

Illustration of a pair of 'Riflemen'

Originally taken from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
Originally taken from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. | Source

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4 comments

D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 12 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

aviannovice,

your right Deb,birds are fascinating creatures, and some small birds such as the whitethroat fly from Africa to the UK every summer,it is hard to believe that these little mites can travel so far. Thank you and best wishes to you.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 12 months ago from Stillwater, OK

There are so many interesting birds in the world, and their ranges truly fascinate. Who would have thought that some very tiny birds such as the ones that you have illustrated, can travel so far?


D.A.L. profile image

D.A.L. 12 months ago from Lancashire north west England Author

tillsontitan,

Hi Mary, thank you for your encouraging comments,which are truly appreciated. Best wishes to you.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 12 months ago from New York

How interesting! I love birds, as many do, but know there are many I've never seen or even heard of as you've made me more aware. The ones you've chosen here are lovely and since I'll never see them here in the states, I appreciate your hub all the more.

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