27 September 2012

Black-faced Bunting at Sadiyaghat, Assam - India.

Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala)

French: Bruant masqué German: Maskenammer Spanish: Escribano Enmascarado
Other common names: Grey-headed Black-faced Bunting; Masked Bunting (personata)

Family: Emberizidae (Buntings, American sparrows and allies)

Taxonomy: Emberiza spodocephala Pallas, 1776, Daurian Range, southern Chita, south-eastern Siberia, Russia.
Sometimes placed in a separate genus, Ocyris. Recent phylogenetic study suggests that this species is closely related to E. pusilla, E. rustica, E. aureola, E. rutila and E. sulphurata, forming a subclade with them; it has been suggested that they form a polytomous group of species, probably the result of a rapid, “simultaneous” radiation. Distinctive race personata possibly represents a separate species; further study required. Nominate race exhibits slight clinal variation in colour, with increasing green on crown, nape and throat and Emberiza spodocephala Pallas, 1776, Daurian Range, southern Chita, south-eastern Siberia, Russia. Sometimes placed in a separate genus, Ocyris. Recent phylogenetic study suggests that this species is closely related to E. pusilla, E. rustica, E. aureola, E. rutila and E. sulphurata, forming a subclade with them; it has been suggested that they form a polytomous group of species, probably the result of a rapid, “simultaneous” radiation. Distinctive race personata possibly represents a separate species; further study required. Nominate race exhibits slight clinal variation in colour, with increasing green on crown, nape and throat and more yellowish underparts from W to E, but individual variation also significant, and populations at extremes of cline not well differentiated; proposed races oligoxantha (described from Kuznetsk region of SC Siberia) and extremiorientis (from S Ussuriland) represent respective ends of this cline. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:
  • spodocephala Pallas, 1776 - breeds from C Siberia (Novokuznetsk and Krasnoyarsk) E to S coast of Sea of Okhotsk, N Sakhalin I and Sea of Japan coast, S to Sayan Mts, Altai, N Mongolia (Khentii Mts), Transbaikalia, NE China (Heilongjiang), SE Russia (Ussuriland) and N Korea; winters in S & E China (S Yunnan and Hainan E to Fujian) and Taiwan.
  • personata Temminck, 1836 - breeds S Sakhalin I, Kuril Is and Japan (Hokkaido S to C Honshu); winters from N Honshu S through Shikoku and Kyushu to Ryukyu Is and Izu Is.
  • sordida Blyth, 1845 - breeds EC China from N Gansu and NE Qinghai S to W Sichuan and N Yunnan (S to Yangtze Valley), E to N Hubei, and occasionally in C Guizhou and W Hunan; winters in area from C Nepal E to NE India, N Myanmar and N Indochina. 
Habitat and Elevation:
Habitat (level 1)
Habitat (level 2)
Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial
Arable Land
non-breeding
Forest
Boreal/Temparate
Non-br. / Breeding
Wetlands (inland)
Permanent Rivers/Streams/ Suitable Creeks (incl. Waterfalls)
Non-br. / Breeding
Wetlands (inland)
Seasonal/Intermittent 
Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
Non-br. / Breeding
Altitude
0-0 m


About the Photograph:
After crossing the ferry at Sadiyaghat the banks make a very good low bush habitat, it was raining slightly for a few minutes, The bird was spotted by Biswapriya & Chewang da, in a bush along the sandy road, it posed for quite some time in different angles, giving us ample of opportunity to take some lovely images. Some would argue how i list this birds on 'Forest Birds', i say from Bushes to mangroves & from dry to wet, the forests represent immense biodiversity, lets be marvelled !!

References:
1. Latin Names of Indian Birds Explained - Satish Pande 
2. http://ibc.lynxeds.com
3. http://www.birdlife.org

Image Copyright © Prasanna Parab. Please do not use any image without prior permission from the copyright holder.

23 September 2012

Fulvous Parrotbill - Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh.

Photographed at Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India.

Fulvous Parrotbill (Paradoxornis fulvifrons)

French: Paradoxornis à front fauve German: Gelbstirn-Papageimeise Spanish: Picoloro Leonado
Other common names: Fulvous-fronted Parrotbill/Suthora/Crowtit
Taxonomy: T[emnoris]. fulvifrons Hodgson, 1845, Nepal.
Family: Timaliidae (Babblers and Parrotbills).
Sometimes placed together with P. conspicillatus, P. webbianus, P. brunneus, P. alphonsianus, P. zappeyi, P. przewalskii, P. nipalensis, P. verreauxi and P. atrosuperciliaris in a separate genus, Suthora. Birds reported from W Arunachal Pradesh, in NE India, included in nominate, but may belong with race chayulensis. Four subspecies recognized.  
Subspecies and Distribution:
  • fulvifrons (Hodgson, 1845) - C Nepal E to Bhutan and NE India (W Arunachal Pradesh).
  • chayulensis (Kinnear, 1940) - NE India (NC Arunachal Pradesh) and adjacent S China (SE Xizang).
  • albifacies (Mayr & Birckhead, 1937) - E part of N Myanmar and adjacent S China (SW Sichuan S to extreme SE Xizang and W & NW Yunnan).
  • cyanophrys (David, 1874) - C China (SW Shaanxi S to SC Sichuan).  
Habitat and Elevation: 
Habitat (level 1)Habitat (level 2)ImportanceOccurrence
 ForestSubtropical/Tropical Moist Montanemajorresident
 ForestTemperatesuitableresident
 Altitude 2440 - 3660 m Occasional altitudinal limits (min) 1700 m 

About the Photograph:
I travelled to East Assam & Arunachal Pradesh in March 2012, While on a trek in Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary, Dibang Valley District (Arunachal Pradesh) towards a ridge after a walk of 2 hours, at an elevation of 2600m+ASL, bamboo forests came alive with these 50+ birds moving hyperactively in feeding mode, all six of us were amazed at the movement but luckily for me i got a catch on this bird just for 4 seconds. The habitat of this bird is the very unique kind of Malling bamboo but rather not so closely packed and bit taller from the one i see in Neora Valley National Park in West Bengal. My sincere thanks to Chewang & Kebi for this bird.

References:
1. Latin Names of Indian Birds Explained - Satish Pande 
2. http://ibc.lynxeds.com
3. http://www.birdlife.org

Image Copyright © Prasanna Parab. Please do not use any image without prior permission from the copyright holder.