The Mystery Bird “Yellow-Billed Oxpecker”

The yellow-billed oxpecker “Buphagus africanus” is a beautiful passerine bird in the starling and myna family, Sturnidae. The name “oxpecker” is related to their habit of perching on large wild and domestic mammals. The yellow-billed oxpecker is 20 cm long and has plain brown upperparts and head, buff underparts and a pale rump. In a day an adult bird will take more than 100 engorged female Boophilus decoloratus ticks or 13,000 larvae. It frequently occurs in association with wild and domestic large mammals. The species often roosts in trees close to these animals, or even on buffaloes’ back at night. The Yellow-billed oxpeckers live in small flocks and can be found at sea-level or in mountains as high as 9,800 feet. These African mystery birds are engaged in a rare behavior, even nesting on the back of a live Cape buffalo.
Some ornithologists regard the oxpeckers to be a separate family, the Buphagidae. It is least common in the extreme east of its range where it overlaps with the r…

The Atlantic Royal Flycatcher

The Atlantic Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus coronatus swainsoni) is a bird belongs to family Tyrannidae, and it is often considered a subspecies of Onychorhynchus coronatus. This bird is endemic to Atlantic forest in south-eastern Brazil, confined to the dwindling forests of south-east Brazil, in the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Paraná. It is threatened by habitat loss, classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007. However its range is remain small and harshly fragmented, though latest discoveries from at least seven new sites in Paraná and four new sites in São Paulo provide fresh hope for the species. This stunning Brazilian endemic inhabits the understory of lowland and lower montane Atlantic forest, up to 800 metres above sea level. At Intervales State Park, it is found most regularly in the proximity of small watercourses. The Atlantic Royal Flycatcher is measuring 6.3 to 6.5 in and this large-billed flycatcher has a remarkable, but rarely seen, crest.

Moreover, this flycatcher has mainly uniform dull brown upperparts with pale, bright cinnamon rump and tail, a whitish throat, unmarked ochraceous buff underparts. Although, the beautiful crest is habitually left flat, giving a hammerhead shape to head. Moreover when raised, the crest displays a extraordinary combination of scarlet, black and blue and yellow replaces red in the female, and ornately decorated with splashes of black and steel-blue tips. The flycatcher has vivid color of the crest stands out against the uniformly brown plumage of the upperparts and dull-yellow underparts. Thus, by contrast, the rump and tail are a bright cinnamon color, and a small, whitish patch marks the throat.

The Atlantic royal flycatcher is believed to feed on insects, predominantly flying insects such as dragonflies. This crest bird sometimes joins mixed-species flocks, and has been logged connecting with foliage-gleaners and fire-eyes. Moreover a juvenile has been observed in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, signifying that breeding happens in the spring (Sep to Oct in the Southern Hemisphere). Notwithstanding its highly fragmented and diminishing status, the Atlantic forest still maintains a rich array of biodiversity, including several endemic species, and as such, remains one of the highest priorities for conservation action around the world.

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