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The Grosbeak with Black Plumage and a Crimson Collar
The information, (including photos, videos, etc.), was not as easy for me to obtain for this bird as it has been for all of my other Hubs. I will keep researching and trying seek more to add to what I have at the present time.
Their family tree:
Let me start by telling you that they are in the ‘Family Emberizidae’. This is ‘Subfamily Cardinalinae’, ‘Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Allies’.
There are 39 species in this family, chiefly in tropical America. Only ten of those species appear to be in North America. The birds in this family basically have bright colors and conical bills which they use to crush seeds. Instead of migrating, some of these birds stay all year and are very territorial but not all of them do. There are some which go to the tropics as soon as the season for breeding is over.
The only ones in this group which I will be describing are the grosbeaks. The ones from North America are the Black-headed Grosbeak, the Rose-breasted Grosbeak, the Yellow Grosbeak the Crimson-collared Grosbeak and the Blue Grosbeak. (The other two: the Pine Grosbeak and the Evening Grosbeak – I have done with the finch family.)
Crimson-collared Grosbeak - maleClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Crimson-collared Grosbeak:
If you are wondering what they look like:
The Crimson-collared Grosbeak (Rhodothraupis celaeno) is a grosbeak which is only of average size.
The mature males have black feathers with either a dull red (Sibley 2000) or a pinkish red (Howell and Webb 1995) “collar” on the nape, shoulders and belly (similar to the Crimson-collared Tanager); the belly is speckled with black. The smaller feathers, attached to the large feathers, of the tail are also red.
The female :
Mature females have a black head and breast like males but green upperparts and yellowish underparts.
The beak is black, big and stubby, with the upper mandible jutting roughly horizontal to the forehead.
Immature birds are similar to females but have less black.
Crimson-collared Grosbeak at feeding station
Nesting and Feeding:
To build the nest, items such as moss and grass, rootlets, strips of large leaves (such as Heliconia**, which has leaves resembling bananas) and twigs are used to make a cup – a bulky cup – for a nest to place the eggs into.
**Heliconia Iatispatha – It is a type of plant that is native to southern Mexico (Oaxaca, Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche) [besides C.A. and parts of northern S.A.]. It is an herb plant which grows up to 4 meters tall. Inflorescence (flower stalk) is erect, it can possibly be up to 45 cm long, with red or orange stalks connecting to green, yellow or orange flowers.
After the nest is made, ahead of time, the female then lays 2 or 3 eggs in the nest. The eggs have a pale blue-gray color to them and they also have brown markings on them.
Then the perfect spot at the middle height in a tree or bush is found in which to place the nest, preferably near the edge of a forest.
Besides the run-of-the-mill seeds which practically every species of bird has in their diet, this bird also eats a combination of fruits and berries; insects and larvae; and even leaves.
One of the berries which they have been noticed eating lately in Texas is named Coyotillo berries. One of the leaves from Mexico which they dine on is the coral bean leaf.
Do you live where this bird does?
You may have seen this bird if you live in either:
The habitat and the range of the Crimson-collared Grosbeak:
The Crimson-collared Grosbeak, which resides in either a humid or a partly dry forest and growth just above the ground, from low to high levels, occasionally prowls on the ground. It can appear one at a time, with its mate, or both by itself and in pairs at the same time.
These birds inhabit what is called a thorn forest that has scrubby vegetation. A wide section of southwestern North America is covered by this scrubby vegetation. It is distinct that thorn forests will be found in areas which are subtropical and warm temperate and that have a rainfall averaging, seasonally, 9.8 to 19.7 in. (200 to 500 meters). Frequently, the trees do not grow taller than 33 feet (10 meters) in height, generally balancing at 23 to 26 feet tall (7 to 8 meters). The condition of the thorn forest may slowly change into savanna** woodland as the rainfall increases; or the savanna may change into desert as the climate becomes drier.
**A savanna is a grassland ecosystem where trees have enough space between them in order to keep the canopy (leaves at the tops of the trees) from closing.
When looking for it, the bird is principally witnessed in northeastern Mexico from central Nuevo Leo′n and central Tamaulipas south to northern Veracruz; though at times it wanders into the Rio Grande Valley of southern Texas. When that happens for the most part, it usually happens in winter.
The basic range of the Crimson-collared Grosbeak
How they sound, both the song and the call:
The Song –
This grosbeak has a song which is a fine-tuned melody, similar to a warble, at the end it usually ascends.
The Calls –
When you hear it make calls they sound like a well-tuned flute; only think of an ‘s’ sound which is descending, before you hear the flute.
Their air travel is very brief since the time of their flights is reduced; alternately, they produce rapid wing beats and then pull their wings to their sides.
Conservation facts and interesting facts:
This grosbeak has basically 20,000 to 50,000 inhabitants of a rather small area. In spite of this, they are not presumed to be in a decline or under any pressure and have been given a conservation rating of Least Concern by the IUCN.
Interesting facts –
- The Crimson-collared Grosbeak has both insufficiently detailed life history and environmental conditions.
- Mangoes, loquat, oranges, and chinaberry are an assortment of the fruit which they have been witnessed to eating.
- A “gross” is a name that a bunch of grosbeaks is relatively named.
© 2014 The Examiner-1