Thorn-tailed rayadito

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Thorn-tailed rayadito
Aphrastura spinicauda (Thorn-tailed Rayodito).jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Furnariidae
Genus: Aphrastura
Species:
A. spinicauda
Binomial name
Aphrastura spinicauda
(Gmelin, 1789)

The thorn-tailed rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda) is a species of bird in the family Furnariidae. It is found in temperate forests and subtropical dry shrubland south of 35°S, though in shaded areas with relictual forests it can occur as far north as 28°S. [2] Some sources suggest it may formerly have occurred in the Falkland Islands.[ citation needed ] It remains the commonest and best-known native bird in temperate forests of Zona Austral and Zona Sur in Chile, [3] often occurring at densities of well over one individual per hectare.[ citation needed ]

Forest dense collection of trees covering a relatively large area

A forest is a large area dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the widely used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares (9.9×109 acres) (15 million square miles) or approximately 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006.

Shrubland plant community characterised by vegetation dominated by shrubs

Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterised by vegetation dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, herbs, and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur naturally or be the result of human activity. It may be the mature vegetation type in a particular region and remain stable over time, or a transitional community that occurs temporarily as the result of a disturbance, such as fire. A stable state may be maintained by regular natural disturbance such as fire or browsing. Shrubland may be unsuitable for human habitation because of the danger of fire. The term was coined in 1903.

35th parallel south circle of latitude

The 35th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 35 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America.

Contents

Description

Rayadito, Tome, Chile Rayadito, Tome.jpg
Rayadito, Tomé, Chile

The thorn-tailed rayadito is approximately 14 centimetres (5.5 in) in length including the tail, and an average adult weighs around 11 grams (0.39 oz), with males being around 10 percent heavier than females. [4] The most distinctive feature of a bird frequently compared to a tit [5] is the long "thorn"-tail with twelve spiny rectrices, which gradually develops in juveniles as they mature. [5] This thorn-tail is believed to be used, not to aid in climbing trees as in other funariids like the tit-spinetails, but to attract the opposite sex during courtship. [4]

Tit (bird) Family of small passerine birds

The tits, chickadees, and titmice constitute the Paridae, a large family of small passerine birds which occur mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and Africa. Most were formerly classified in the genus Parus.

Tit-spinetail genus of birds

Tit-spinetails are small passerine birds of the genus Leptasthenura, belonging to the ovenbird family Furnariidae. They are found in South America, particularly the southern and Andean parts of the continent. They are somewhat similar to birds of the tit family in their shape and feeding behaviour, hence the first part of their name. The "spinetail" part of their name refers to their long, pointed tail feathers. Tit-spinetails have short rounded wings, short pointed bills and are mainly brown in colour. Their nests are built in holes or in the old nests of other birds.

The plumage of the thorn-tailed rayadito is brown with several black lines above and generally white below in the nominate subspecies Aphrastura spinicauda spinicauda, whilst in Aphrastura spinicauda fulva of Chiloé the throat is cinnamon instead of white and in Aphrastura spinicauda bullocki of Mocha Island the dorsal side is entirely brown without black lines and the throat is white.

Mocha Island island

Mocha Island is a small Chilean island located west of the coast of Arauco Province in the Pacific Ocean. The island is approximately 48 km2 (19 sq mi) in area, with a small chain of mountains running roughly in north-south direction. In Mapuche mythology, the souls of dead people travel west to visit this island. The island today is home to the Mocha Island National Reserve, a nature reserve that covers approximately 45% of the island's surface. The island is noted as the location of numerous historic shipwrecks. The waters off the island are a popular place for recreational sea fishing.

Typical voices of the thorn-tailed rayadito include: [6]

  1. A loud trill
  2. An alarm call, described as a scolding "tsii...tsii...tsii"
  3. A softer repetitive trill "trrrrrreet" [3]
  4. A chorus call used during the nonbreeding season [7]

Genetic diversity and glacial refugia

A recent study of the refugia used by rayaditos when the Patagonian Ice Sheet covered most of the species' existing range shows that Mocha Island was the most prominent glacial refuge and suggests the possibility that the species was present in areas to the east of the ice sheet in Argentine Patagonia, [8] creating considerable gene flow when most of the ice sheet melted.

Patagonian Ice Sheet glacier

The Patagonian Ice Sheet was a large elongated and narrow ice sheet centered in the southern Andes that existed during the Llanquihue glaciation. The ice sheet covered all of Chile south of Puerto Montt plus the western fringes of Argentine Patagonia.

Gene flow The transfer of genetic variation from one population to another

In population genetics, gene flow is the transfer of genetic variation from one population to another. If the rate of gene flow is high enough, then two populations are considered to have equivalent allele frequencies and therefore effectively be a single population. It has been shown that it takes only "One migrant per generation" to prevent populations from diverging due to drift. Gene flow is an important mechanism for transferring genetic diversity among populations. Migrants change the distribution of genetic diversity within the populations, by modifying the allele frequencies. High rates of gene flow can reduce the genetic differentiation between the two groups, increasing homogeneity. For this reason, gene flow has been thought to constrain speciation by combining the gene pools of the groups, thus preventing the development of differences in genetic variation that would have led to full speciation. In some cases migration may also result in the addition of novel genetic variants to the gene pool of a species or population.

Behaviour and ecology

Like most furnariids, the thorn-tailed rayadito is exclusively insectivorous, and like the tits of the northern hemisphere it searches bark and moss surfaces for small insects. [3] In the non-breeding season from March to September it forms large flocks with other Furnariidae species, though generally it is so numerous as to outnumber all other species combined and in almost half of all cases rayaditos are the only species present: at other times white-throated treerunners, striped woodpeckers and fire-eyed diucons may complement them. Rayaditos themselves usually occur in the non-breeding season in flocks of four to seven; [7] however in the breeding season from October to February they are strongly pair-territorial.

Insectivore organism that eats insects

An insectivore is a carnivorous plant or animal that eats insects. An alternative term is entomophage, which also refers to the human practice of eating insects.

White-throated treerunner species of bird

The white-throated treerunner is a species of bird in the family Furnariidae. It is monotypic within the genus Pygarrhichas. It is found in Chile and Argentina, also southern regions of Tierra del Fuego. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.

Striped woodpecker species of bird

The striped woodpecker is a woodpecker found in southwestern South America. It occurs northwest- and southwestwards of the range of its sister taxon, the checkered woodpecker, in the Cordillera Patagonica and its foothills, and in another population in the Andes of Bolivia and the adjacent foothills. As the latter is isolated and differs in numerous respects, it is being considered to separate it as V. (lignarius) puncticeps.

Rayaditos are highly curious and fearless birds, and are inquisitive in the presence of humans in their forest habitat. They are adaptable to quite a wide range of forest types, from tall Nothofagus and Araucaria forests in the north to low subantarctic forests in the far south and relatively dry Austrocedrus forests in the east of their range. Rayaditos do not extend beyond the relatively dry cedar forest into the "scrub beech" further east, [9] and generally do require corridors of considerable size if not so wide as many other endemic birds of Patagonian forests. [2]

Rayadito Portrait Rayadito Portrait.jpg
Rayadito Portrait

Reproduction

The breeding biology of the thorn-tailed rayadito is the most comprehensively studied among the generally little-known avifauna of South America south of the Amazon Basin. [10] Rayaditos, unlike most other furnariids, nest in secondary cavities in old trees, though there are a few reports that in the extreme south of their range they will opportunistically choose to nest in ground level cavities [11] and they willingly accept nest boxes.

Rayaditos breed between October and January, typically laying three or four eggs. Occasionally more are laid though there is little evidence more than four young ever fledge from a nest. [5] The most striking feature of rayaditos and indeed most furnariids is the very large size of the eggs: though not as large as those of the related Des Murs's wiretail, they are still about fifty percent larger than expected for an 11-gram passerine. [12] Because of their large eggs, rayadito females (and indeed all other documented furnariids) lay eggs only every other day, akin to other south temperate passerines like the rifleman and thornbills, though their incubation periods are not as long. [13]

Although rayaditos were historically thought to be multi-brooded, [14] the first detailed breeding studies conducted on Chiloé suggest each pair typically raises only a single clutch per year, and that reduction of clutches after laying by discarding eggs is not unknown, [5] though brood reduction by this method has generally been exceptionally rarely seen [15] and thought to be absent from south temperate passerines. [13] Growth of nestlings is distinctly slow: fledging lasts twenty-one days and postfledging parental care around thirty days. The latter is distinctly longer than in north temperate species at the same distance from the equator, but not nearly so long as in many tropical, Australian and southern African passerines [10] [16] where young are not independent for over sixty days. Rayaditos may travel with their parents during the non-breeding season though this is not yet investigated. The oldest known rayadito based on banding studies was six years and four months old, [17] though potential longevity is unknown.

Related Research Articles

Swallow family of birds

The swallows, martins and saw-wings, or Hirundinidae, are a family of passerine birds found around the world on all continents, including occasionally in Antarctica. Highly adapted to aerial feeding, they have a distinctive appearance. The term Swallow is used colloquially in Europe as a synonym for the barn swallow. There are around 90 species of Hirundinidae, divided into 19 genera, with the greatest diversity found in Africa, which is also thought to be where they evolved as hole-nesters. They also occur on a number of oceanic islands. A number of European and North American species are long-distance migrants; by contrast, the West and South African swallows are non-migratory.

Aegithalidae family of songbirds

The bushtits or long-tailed tits, Aegithalidae, are a family of small, drab passerine birds with moderately long tails. The family contains 13 species in four genera, all but one of which are found in Eurasia. Bushtits are active birds, moving almost constantly while they forage for insects in shrubs and trees. During non-breeding season, birds live in flocks of up to 50 individuals. Several bushtit species display cooperative breeding behavior, also called helpers at the nest.

Penduline tit family of birds

The penduline tits constitute a family of small passerine birds, related to the true tits. All but the verdin make elaborate bag nests hanging from trees, usually over water.

Ovenbird (family) family of birds

Ovenbirds or furnariids are a large family of small suboscine passerine birds found from Mexico and Central to southern South America. They form the family Furnariidae. The ovenbird, which breeds in North America, is not a furnariid – rather it is a distantly related bird of the wood warbler family, Parulidae.

Long-tailed tit species of bird

The long-tailed tit or long-tailed bushtit, occasionally referred to as the silver-throated tit or silver-throated dasher, is a common bird found throughout Europe and Asia. The genus name Aegithalos was a term used by Aristotle for some European tits, including the long-tailed tit.

House wren species of bird

The house wren is a very small songbird of the wren family, Troglodytidae. It occurs from Canada to southernmost South America, and is thus the most widely distributed bird in the Americas. It occurs in most suburban areas in its range and it is the single most common wren. Its taxonomy is highly complex and some subspecies groups are often considered separate species.

Boreal chickadee species of bird

The boreal chickadee is a small passerine bird in the tit family Paridae. It is found in the boreal forests of Canada and the northern United States.

Hornero genus of birds

The horneros are members of the genus Furnarius in the family Furnariidae, native to South America.

Red warbler A small passerine bird of the New World warbler family endemic to the highlands of Mexico

The red warbler is a small passerine bird of the New World warbler family Parulidae endemic to the highlands of Mexico, north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. It is closely related to, and forms a superspecies with, the pink-headed warbler of southern Mexico and Guatemala. There are three subspecies, found in disjunct populations, which differ primarily in the color of their ear patch and in the brightness and tone of their body plumage. The adult is bright red, with a white or gray ear patch, depending on the subspecies; young birds are pinkish-brown, with a whitish ear patch and two pale wingbars.

Black-throated bushtit species of bird

The black-throated bushtit, also known as the black-throated tit, is a very small passerine bird in the family Aegithalidae.

Masafuera rayadito species of bird

The Masafuera rayadito is a rare bird endemic to Alejandro Selkirk Island in the Juan Fernández Islands. The species is a member of the ovenbird family and only one of two species in the rayadito genus. The species' natural habitat is humid montane scrub, dominated by tree ferns and ferns between 800–1300 m above sea level.

Pipipi species of bird

The pipipi, also known as brown creeper, New Zealand creeper, or New Zealand titmouse, is a small passerine bird endemic to the South Island of New Zealand. They are specialist insectivores, gleaning insects from branches and leaves. They have strong legs and toes for hanging upside down while feeding.

Scrubtit species of bird

The scrubtit is a species of bird in the thornbill family Acanthizidae. It is endemic to Tasmania and King Island in Australia. Its natural habitat is the temperate rainforest, Nothofagus beech forest and eucalypt woodland. It is a small species that resembles the Sericornis scrubwrens.

Tufted tit-tyrant species of bird

The tufted tit-tyrant is a species of bird in the tyrant flycatcher family Tyrannidae. This species is found in western South America; its range stretches from southern Colombia south along the Andes mountains to Tierra del Fuego. It prefers to live in upper montane forests and shrublands; however, it is a habitat generalist and can be found across a wide range of ecosystems. The tufted tit-tyrant has three subspecies, including the nominate subspecies Anairetes parulus parulus, A. p. aequatorialis, and A. p. patagonicus, and is very closely related to the Juan Fernández tit-tyrant. It is very small with a distinctive and conspicuous crest. The bird's head is black overall with white supraloral and postocular stripes. Its dull grayish-brown back contrasts with its white throat and breast that are covered with black streaks and pale, unmarked yellow underbelly. There are few noticeable differences in plumage between the subspecies. It is a vocal flycatcher with a broad repertoire of songs.

<i>Aphrastura</i> genus of birds

The rayaditos (Aphrastura) are a genus of birds in the Furnariidae, the ovenbird family.

Fire-capped tit species of bird

The fire-capped tit is a small, 10 cm (3.9 in) long, weighing about 7 g (0.25 oz) bird species assigned to the Paridae family, that breeds in the temperate forests bordering the Himalayas to the south, in the Hengduan Shan and Nujiang Shan on the Myanmar-China border, the Micah Shan and Daba Shan on the Northern Sichuan border. It winters down hill and further south. Further to the east, birds tend to be smaller and the plumage becomes gradually darker.

The short-billed miner is a species of bird in the family Furnariidae, probably the most southerly breeding passerine in the world. It weighs around 37 grams (1.3 oz) and is typically around 14 centimetres (5.5 in) in length including the tail, which when in flight is distinctively black with white edges. Geositta antarctica can be distinguished for the more widespread common miner by its much shorter bill and the absence of any rufous in the flight feathers.

Des Murss wiretail species of bird

Des Murs's wiretail is a small passerine bird of southern South America which belongs to the ovenbird family Furnariidae. It is the only member of the genus Sylviorthorhynchus. Molecular phylogenetics places it within the Synallaxinae and indicates that the genus diverged from the Leptasthenura about 14-15 million years ago.

Chilean hawk species of bird

The Chilean hawk is a bird of prey species belonging to the typical hawks. It breeds in Andes forests from central Chile and western Argentina south to Tierra del Fuego, from sea level to 2,700 m altitude. Some winter apparently in the lowlands of NW Argentina.

References

  1. BirdLife International (2012). "Aphrastura spinicauda". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature . Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. 1 2 Vergara Pablo M. and Marquet Pablo A.; "On the seasonal effect of landscape structure on a bird species: the thorn-tailed rayadito in a relict forest in northern Chile" in Landscape Ecology; Volume 22, Number 7 (2007), pp. 1059-1071
  3. 1 2 3 Ridgely, Robert S. and Tudor, Guy; Field Guide to the Songbirds of South America: The Passerines; pp. 285-286. ISBN   9780292717480
  4. 1 2 Moreno, Juan, Merino, Santiago, Lobato, Elisa, Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A. and Vásquez Rodrigo A.; "Sexual dimorphism and parental roles in the thorn-tailed rayadito (Furnariidae)" in The Condor 109(2):312-320 (2007)
  5. 1 2 3 4 Moreno, Juan, Merino, Santiago, Vásquez, Rodrigo A. and Armesto, Juan J.; "Breeding biology of the thorn-tailed rayadito (Furnariidae) in south-temperate rainforests of Chile" in The Condor , 107(1):69-77 (2005)
  6. Ippi, Silvina, Vásquez, Rodrigo A., Van Donger, Wouter F.D. and Lazzoni, Ilena; "Geographical variation in the vocalizations of the suboscine Thorn-tailed Rayadito Aphrastura spinicauda" in Ibis ; Volume 153, Issue 4, pages 789–805, October 2011
  7. 1 2 Vuilleumier, François; "Mixed Species Flocks in Patagonian Forests, with Remarks on Interspecies Flock Formation"; in The Condor ; 69(4):400-404 (1967)
  8. Gonzalez J, Wink M (2010) Genetic differentiation of the Thorn-tailed Rayadito Aphrastura spinicauda (Furnariidae: Passeriformes) revealed by ISSR profiles suggests multiple palaeorefugia and high recurrent gene flow. Ibis. 152:761–774.
  9. Ralph, C. John; "Habitat association patterns of forest and steppe birds of northern Patagonia, Argentina" in The Condor , Vol. 87, No. 4 (November, 1985), pp. 471-483
  10. 1 2 Russell, Eleanor M.; "Avian Life Histories: Is Extended Parental Care the Southern Secret?"; in Emu ; Vol. 100, 377-399 (2000)
  11. McGehee, Steven M., Eitniear, Jack C., & Glickman, Barry W.; "Unusual ground level tree cavity nesting in the Thorn-tailed Rayadito (Aphrastura spinicauda)" in Boletín SAO Vol. 20 (No. 1) – Pag: 12-17
  12. Based on the formula of egg mass = 0.258m0.73, where m is body mass. From Rahn, H., Sotherland, P. and Paganelli, C. V., 1985. "Interrelationships between egg mass and adult body mass and metabolism among passerine birds" in Journal für Ornithologie 126:263-271.
  13. 1 2 Ricklefs, R.E.; "Sibling competition, hatching asynchrony, incubation period, and lifespan in altricial birds"; in Power, Dennis M. (editor); Current Ornithology. Vol. 11. ISBN   9780306439902
  14. Sieving, Kathryn E; Willson, Mary F. and de Santo, Toni L.; "Defining Corridor Functions for Endemic Birds in Fragmented South Temperate Rainforests" in Conservation Biology; Vol. 14, No. 4 (August 2000); pp. 1120-1132
  15. Moreno, Juan; "Parental infanticide in birds through early eviction from the nest: rare or under-reported?" in Journal of Avian Biology, Volume 43, Issue 1 (January 2012); pp. 43–49
  16. See McMahon T.A. and Finlayson, B.; Global Runoff: Continental Comparisons of Annual Flows and Peak Discharges; ISBN   3-923381-27-1
  17. Jiménez, Jaime and Rozzi, Ricardo '¿Cuanto Viven las Aves des Bosque más Australia del Planeta?'; UNAB y la Unión de Ornitólogos realizan X Congreso de Ornitología