Physical characteristics

Birds in this family range in length from the 5 in (12.5 cm) goldenface to the 11 in (28.0 cm) rusty pitohui (Pitohui fer-rugineus). They are characterized by a robust body and large, rounded head, the latter the reason for the earlier name thickhead bestowed to whistlers and as a group name for the family. Legs and feet are strong, wings broad and rounded, and tail unadorned. The bills are robust, although often of moderate length and, in some of the larger species, rather imposing, especially...

Feeding ecology and diet

Whistlers and their relatives are, for the most part, rather sedate feeders. They search foliage and limbs in a methodical fashion, gleaning prey from leaves or bark, and some pick items from the ground by pouncing. Because these species do not pursue flying insects, most lack rictal bristles of more aerial insectivorous birds. Most species feed in the top to middle of the canopy, but some like the rufous-naped whistler and olive whistler (Pachycephala olivacea) forage in low dense understory....

Conservation status

In 2000, the IUCN listed the rail-babbler and western whipbird as Near Threatened through loss of habitat. The population of the western whipbird in the southwest Australia is endangered. Inappropriate fire regimes are blamed for the small distribution and small numbers. From a low of 17 pairs or less in the 1960s, this species has been slowly recovered through dedicated conservation efforts. Restriction of burning, captive breeding, and transfer of individuals have brought the population to...

Evolution and systematics

Early ornithologists focused on the hooked, rather robust bills of these birds to associate them with various groups of flycatchers or shrikes from other parts of the world. Whistlers and their kin are now believed to be part of the largely endemic Australo-Papuan songbird assemblage. Generic relationships within the family are poorly understood. As currently delimited, the Pachycephalidae comprises a central cluster of three genera (whistlers Pachycephala, shrike-thrushes Colluricincla, and...

Organizations

Wellbrook Court, Girton Road Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB3 0NA United Kingdom Phone +44 1 223 277 318 Fax +44-1-223-277-200 African Gamebird Research, Education and Development (AGRED) African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) UN Premises in Bonn, Martin Luther-King St. Bonn D-53175 Germany < http www.wcmc.org.uk AEWA> American Zoo and Aquarium Association 8403 Colesville Road Suite 710 Silver Spring, Maryland 20910 < http www.aza.org> Association for BioDiversity...

Reproductive biology

Courtship of monogamous catbirds is simplistic a male chases a female through tree foliage to then hop and bounce between perches in front of her before mating. Courtship of most polygynous bowerbirds is far more complex and is typically instigated by the arrival of a female at a bower site, after which the male moves away from the visitor in a ritualized fashion and or hides from her view while producing a subsong that includes vocal mimicry of other bird calls and A male golden bower bird...

European penduline tit

Four subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES English Eurasian penduline tit, penduline tit French R miz penduline German Beutelmeise Spanish Baloncito Com n. 4.3 in (110 mm) 0.28-0.44 oz (8-12.5 g). A small tit with, for the group, a relatively long tail. Nominate race sexes similar, though female paler prominent black face mask contrasting with otherwise gray head chestnut brown back, pale buff beneath juvenile lacks mask. A Eurasian bird with a breeding range from...

Volume 11 Birds IV

Jackson, Advisory Editor Walter J. Bock, Taxonomic Editor Donna Olendorf, Project Editor Joseph E. Trumpey, Chief Scientific Illustrator In association with the American Zoo and Aquarium Association Detroit New York San Diego San Francisco Cleveland New Haven, Conn. Waterville, Maine London Munich Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Second Edition Deirdre Blanchfield, Madeline Harris, Christine Jeryan, Kristine M. Krapp, Kate Kretschmann, Melissa C. McDade, Mark Springer Mary K....

Significance to humans

A few species are shy but most are curious and tame. In parks and inhabited areas, this confiding and vocal nature draws attention. Many species readily respond to human whistles and squeaks, and so can be readily attracted. The gray shrike-thrush will nest in potted plants around houses. For the most part, however, these birds remain unfamiliar to most of the public. New Guinea inhabitants reported that pitohuis were bad eating birds. In 1992, Jack Dumbacher and his colleagues discovered that...

Macgregors bowerbird

Amblyornis macgregoriae De Vis, 1890, Musgrave River, Papua New Guinea. Seven subspecies. English Macgregor's gardenerbird, gardener bowerbird, crested gardener bird, yellow-crested gardener French Jardinier de Macgregor German Goldhaubeng rtner Spanish Capulinero de Macgregor. physical characteristics 10.2 in (26 cm) female 0.23-0.31 lb (104-140 g), male 0.22-0.32 lb (100-145 g). Brown with lighter head and under-parts distinctive long red crest. Endemic to mountains of eastern and central New...

Contributors to the first edition

The following individuals contributed chapters to the original edition of Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, which was edited by Dr. Bernhard Grzimek, Professor, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Germany Director, Frankfurt Zoological Garden, Germany and Trustee, Tanzanian National Parks, Tanzania. Dr. Michael Abs Curator, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany Bombay Natural History Society Bombay, India Dr. Rudolph Altevogt Professor, Zoological Institute, University of M nster M nster, Germany...

Purplenaped sunbird

Muller, 1843, Sumatra and Borneo. Five subspecies. English Blue-naped sunbird French Souimanga stri German Streifennektarvogel Spanish Nectarina de Nuca Azul. 6 in (15 cm) male 0.27-0.54 oz (7.8-15.2 g) female 0.34-0.48 oz (9.7-13.5 g). Medium-length bill with red eye and streaked yellowish underparts. Purple nape and rump with olive head, wings, and tail. H. h. hypogrammicum Sumatra and Borneo H. h. lisettae northern Myanmar, northern Thailand, northern and central...

Blackwinged myna

Gracula melanoptera Daudin, 1800. other common names English Black-winged starling, white-breasted starling French Ftourneau a ailes noires German Schwarzflugelstar Spanish Estornino de Alas Negras. 8.7-9.4 in (22-24 cm). Sexes alike a mostly white myna with black wings and tail bases of primaries are white, showing as a white stripe in the wing of a flying bird black tail has white-tipped feathers yellow bill, flesh around eye, and feet. Juvenile has a gray crown, nape, and mantle. Java, Bali,...

Dimorphic fantail

Rhipidura brachyrhyncha Schlegel, 1871, Arfak Mountains, New Guinea. Two subspecies. English Dimorphic rufous fantail French Rhipidure dimorphe German Zweiphasen-Facherschwanz Spanish Cola de Abanico Dimorfo. 5.9-6.5 in (15-16.5 cm) 0.3-0.4 oz (8.3-10.7 g). Crown to upper back dark brown, fading to rufous lower back, rump, and wing edges. Underparts buffy gray with either pale or dark un-dertail, depending on color phase. Bill brownish black, feet pale brown. R. b. brachyrhyncha Northwestern...

Spectacled weaver

Smith, 1828, Eastern Cape Grahamstown, South Africa. French Tisserin a lunettes German Brillenweber Spanish Tejedor Moteado. 5.9-6.3 in (15-16 cm) female 0.7-1.0 oz (21-30 g), male 0.8-1.1 oz (22-32 g). Greenish yellow weaver with slender, dark bill and dark spectacle line through the eye. Eyes pale cream. Male has dark bib on the throat, lacking in female. Juvenile lacks spectacle line or bib, eye brown, bill pale brown. Cameroon east to Sudan, Ethiopia, south to northern...

Midget flowerpecker

Dicaeum aeneum Pucheran, 1853, San Jorge, Solomon Islands. Three subspecies. English Solomons flowerpecker French Dicee des Salomon German Bronzemistelfresser Spanish Pica Flor de la Isla Salomon. 2.2 in (5.6 cm) 0.25-0.31 oz (7.1-8.8 g). Grayish upperparts with white throat patch, scarlet breast patch and yellow-green flanks. D. a. aeneum Bougainville, Choiseul, and Ysabel in northern Solomon Islands D. a. becki Florida and Guadacanal D. a. malaitae Malaita Island. All habitats in the Solomon...

Contents

How to use this Advisory Contributing Contributing illustrators xviii What is a bird Birds and humans Avian migration and Avian Avian flight Tinamous and ratites Family Tinamous Family Family Family Family Kiwis Family Moas Family Family Elephant birds Tubenosed seabirds Family Albatrosses Family Shearwaters, petrels, and fulmars 123 Family Storm-petrels Family Family Penguins Family Loons Family Pelicans and cormorants Family Family Family Cormorants and anhingas 201 Family Boobies and gannets...

Black grasswren

Amytornis housei Milligan, 1902, central Kimberleys, Western Australia. French Amytis noir German Schwarzkehl-Grasschlupfer Spanish Ratona de la Hierba Negra. 8.3 in (21 cm) female 0.83-0.98 oz (23.5-27.9 g), male 1.0-1.1 oz (29.0-31 g). A large, dark grasswren, with rusty back and long, broad tail. Rare and local in the Kimberley Division of northwestern Western Australia. Found among tumbled sandstone outcrops and gorges, in spinifex and scrub. Poor fliers, and move about in groups by hopping...

Goldenheaded cisticola

Glutamine Rich Domain

Cisticola exilis Vigors and Horsfield, 1827. OTHER COMMON NAMES English Bright-headed cisticola, yellow-headed cisticola, tailor-bird, corn bird French Cisticole couronne dor e German Goldkopg-Cistensanger Spanish Buitr n de Capa Dorada. 3.9-4.3 in 10-11 cm . Small warbler, warm brown back, rufous nape, crown, breast and flanks, whitish throat and belly. Strong black streaking on back. Wings and tail short. Bill short, thin, and slightly decurved. Cisticola juncidis I Resident Breeding The only...