MICROBIOLOGY — BIRD HABITAT LOSS — More than 250 bird species will benefit from a recent expansion of the Tanagers Reserve in Colombia, a country with more avian species than any other country in the world — PLANET EARTH MACRO WORLD group

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Tanagers and Pygmy-Owls

This area contains one of the highest concentrations of range-restricted species in the world. No fewer than 60 endemic species depend on the region’s wet forests. Among the birds recorded at the Tanagers Reserve are globally threatened species such as the Choco Vireo and Gold-ringed Tanager, both Endangered;  and the Cloud-forest Pygmy-owl, Black-and-gold Tanager, and Giant Antpitta, all of which are Vulnerable.

Golden-winged Warblers are specialists, requiring “young,” or early-successional, forests for breeding. Once their young leave the nest, the birds need mature forests for foraging nearby.

Golden-winged Warblers also suffer from competition and hybridization with Blue-winged Warblers; parasitism by cowbirds, which lay their eggs in the warbler’s nests; and loss of wintering habitat in Latin America.

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BIRD OF THE WEEK — ARARIPE MANAKIN — Araripe Manakin Conservation Project is about biodiversity, natural resources conservation, and the importance of environmental sustainability — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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ABC

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Antilophia bokermanni
POPULATION: About 800 adults
IUCN STATUS: Critically Endangered
TREND: Decreasing
HABITAT: Lower and middle levels of tall, humid forest, with an abundance of vines.

The Araripe Manakin’s Critically Endangered status, which has led to its listing as an Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species, has also focused attention on the importance of conserving its unique habitat. This habitat determines not only this bird’s continued survival but also the quality of life for thousands of people living in this largely impoverished region of northeastern Brazil.

Araripe Manakin, Ciro Albano

Both bird and habitat are threatened by the clearing of forests for farming, cattle, and home-building.

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BLUE-EYED GROUND DOVE — With a population estimated at just 16 birds, the Blue-eyed Ground-Dove is one of the rarest birds in Brazil — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK — BLUE-EYED GROUND DOVE

With a population estimated at just 16 birds, the Blue-eyed Ground-Dove is one of the rarest birds in Brazil, a country that’s home to many rare species found nowhere else.

This small dove is named for its vivid blue eyes, which match the spots on its wings and contrast with the rest of its rich tawny and rufous plumage.

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BIRD OF THE WEEK — ‘I’IWI — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK 

‘I’IWI

Like so many island species, the ‘I’iwi is beautifully adapted to the plants that share its evolutionary history. Its long, downward-curving bill is specialized for sipping nectar from tubular flowers.

I'iwi, Michael Walther, Oahu Nature Tours

ABC’s Hawai’i Program is working with the Hawai’i Division of Forestry and Wildlife and other partners on forest restoration projects — including the species’ preferred ‘ohi’a, koa, and mamane trees — on the Big Island and Maui. These projects improve habitat conditions for ‘I’iwi and other threatened forest birds, such as Palila and Maui Parrotbill.

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BIRD OF THE WEEK — DARK-EYED JUNCO — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK

DARK-EYED JUNCO

ABC

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Junco hyemalis

POPULATION: Estimates vary widely, from 190 to 260 million

TREND: Decreasing

HABITAT: Breeds in high-elevation conifer and mixed woods. Winters in fields, parks, and yard.

All Dark-eyed Juncos have some features in common: white outer tail feathers that are especially conspicuous when the bird takes flight; darker upperparts contrasting a lighter belly; and a pale bill. But this bird can vary drastically in appearance depending on where one sees it. Some juncos have more reddish-brown on the back and sides, some sport a contrasting dark hood over the head and neck, and others show a gray-tinged belly or white bars on the wings.

"ark-eyed

Although initially lumped with the rest of the Dark-eyed group, the endemic Guadalupe Junco was again split into a distinct species in 2016. Another closely related species, the Yellow-eyed Junco, is resident in pine-oak highlands from southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico south through Mexican highlands to Guatemala.

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