Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Painted Bunting in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve

Among the birds which inhabit Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve is the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris). This migratory bird merits special mention because of the frequency of our observations of it here-it is a common bird in appropriate habitat and in season-and its conservation status. This bird is one of the many reasons Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve is great for birdwatching.

Our staff and volunteers (Lorenzo Lopez, Marlene Kroner, Lucas Betthausen, and Soren Kraak) conduct monthly mist netting for bird population monitoring in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve. They captured two of this lovely bird in the most recent mist netting activity. Below are photos and some basic information about the species.

birdwatching Nicaragua
Male Painted bunting captured in mist netting Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua, February 20, 2011

The Painted Bunting
(Extracted from A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica, by Stiles and Skutch.) The Painted Bunting (Passerina siris) is a species of migratory bird in the Cardinal family. The population winters on the Nicaraguan Pacific Slope. In Costa Rica, it is found chiefly in Tempisque basin and around Golfo de Nicoya and in Térraba region. We present it here because it is commonly observed in season in Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve.

Painted Buntings are mostly monogamous and are solitary or in pairs during the breeding season, but sometimes exhibit polygamy. They are shy, secretive and often difficult to see. Males sing from exposed perches and tend to hop along on the ground. The Painted Bunting eats seeds, spiders, insects and caterpillars. It lays 3 or 4 gray-white, brown-spotted eggs, which are incubated by the female for 11–13 days. Two weeks after hatching, the young birds are ready to leave the nest.
The size of the bird is five inch and it weighs 15 gram. Brilliant adult male unmistakable; female above more greenish, below more yellowish than other seedeaters or grassquits.
The male adult: top and sides of head and neck, to sides of breast, violet-blue; back yellow-green; rump and upper tail-coverts pinkish-red; shoulder violet; middle coverts purplish; greater coverts and tertials greenish; rectrices and remiges dusky-purplish; rest of underparts bright red; eye-ring rose-red.
The female adult: above bright olive-green to dull grass-green, often tinged with bluish on sides of crown or nape; below greenish-yellow, washed with green on breast and tinged with olive on sides and flanks; belly sometimes strongly tinged with buff. Upper mandible blackish, lower grayish; legs dusky.
Immatures: like adult female but duller, above more brownish; males below often brighter yellow, females duller and buffier.
Forages low amid dense cover of brushy second growth, overgrown pastures, high grass, or riverside stands of wild cane; often alone, or in small groups, as when visiting water holes in dry areas; by March a male may accompany a female as though already mated; eats seeds, some fruits and insects.
Call a sharp chirp or chip.
Breeds in South USA and North Mexico; winters from North Mexico and Florida to West Panama and West Indies.
Red List
Since 1988 the Passerina Siris is on the red list. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List), founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species. A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit.
The IUCN Red List is set upon precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. The aim is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to try to reduce species extinction.
The IUCN aims to have the category of every species re-evaluated every 5 years if possible, or at least every ten years. This is done in a peer reviewed manner through IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Specialist Groups, which are Red List Authorities responsible for a species, group of species or specific geographic area, or in the case of BirdLife International, an entire class (Aves).[1]
The Pain
Red List Category & Criteria:
Near Threatened     
Year Assessed:
BirdLife International
Bird, J. & Butchart, S. (BirdLife International Red List Authority)
This species has declined over the long term and apparently continues to do so at a moderately rapid rate. It is therefore considered to be Near Threatened. 
Near Threatened
Lower Risk/least concern
Lower Risk/least concern
Lower Risk/least concern

Passerina ciris in Nicaragua
Male Painted Bunting, Laguna de Apoyo Nature Reserve, Nicaragua
Painted Bunting
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