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Thursday, December 16, 2010

More Ethopian Birds

ROUGET'S RAIL (Ralbus Rogetii) wing 125-135m

The Rouget's Rail is common on the western and southeastern highlands, but its presence is not so obvious as that of some other endemics. Once one is able to recognize the bird's calls, one well appreciates how common this rail is. It has two calls which are useful in
identification: one, a piercing alarm note, a "dideet" or "a di-dii", and the other, a display call, "wreeeee-creeuw-wreeeee-creeliw". This Rail mainly lives at higher elevations of  up to 4,100 meters (13,500 feet) where it inhabits small pockets of grass tussock and wet hollows with plenty, of cover; it is a characteristic bird of the moorlands of Ethiopia.

YELLOW-FRONTED PARROT (Poicephalus Flavifrons) wing 160-188m

The Yellow-fronted Parrot occurs in Ethiopia from approximately 600 to 3,350 meters (2,000-1 1,000 feet) in the western and southeastern highlands, the Rift Valley and the western lowlands in forests and woodlands varying from St. John's wort and hagenia to olive, podocarpus and juniper to fig and acacia. It is an uncommon but regular visitor on the Armed Force Hospital grounds near the old airport in Addis Ababa. One's attention is usually first attracted to the presence of this species by its loud squeaky calls and unmusical shrill whistles. Typically one then sees the greenish parrots with yellowish heads in a small flock of three to eight individuals, high up in a tree where they are probably feeding. Their food is thought to be fruit, including baobab if available, sorghum, maize and seeds. Although this parrot is frequent to locally common and  widely distributed in the country, little is known of its habits: the time of nesting is not known: the nest and eggs are undescribed. In fact, this parrot is so poorly known that practically any information an observer discovers about it will be new to science.

WHITE-COLLARED PIGEON (Columba Albitorques) wing 212-234m

The White-collared Pigeon - unmistakable with its uniform greyish color, white collar patch and, in flight, white on the wings is the dominant pigeon on the plateau above 2,400 meters (8,000 feet). It mainly inhabits rugged areas of the western and southeastern highlands, especially cliffs and escarpments, but it is also a common feature of many plateau villages and towns where it lives in association with churches and other large buildings. It also frequents bridges on the highways and roads of the plateau. This pigeon nests most months of the year (January-June and August-November) on ledges of cliffs,
bridges and houses. Its nest is like most pigeons' nests, made largely of grass stalks and small sticks. It lays two creamy white and glossy eggs. The male and female, who may be at the nest at the same time, are alike in ppearance. Despite this pigeon's abundance and its occurrence in large areas of the plateau, including cities like Addis Ababa little else is known about its life history.

BANDED BARBET (Lybius Undatus) wing 79-84mm

The little-known Banded Barbet is very widely distributed throughout Ethiopia between 300 and 2400 meters (1000-8000 feet). Although the numbers and abundance of this species have not been determined, it seems to vary from being uncommon in the north west and cast to locally common elsewhere in the country, living singly or in pairs in trees near water. It has been reported to eat insects (beetles) and the fruit of fig trees. The barbet has been described also to hawk insects like a flycatcher and to hang from a branch up side down like a tit. Its call notes are metallic and it produces also a "gr-gr-grgrgr..." in rising tempo. The barbet has been reported to nest in a hole in a branch of a tree or in a tree or in a stump: the time of nesting and the eggs have not been described.

BLACK-WINGED LOVEBIRD (Agapornis Taranta) wing 95-110m

The Black-winged Lovebird is the common, small green parrot of the Ethiopian plateau. It is widely distributed from about 1,500-3,200m. (5,000-10,500 feet) in the western and southeastern highlands and in the Rift Valley in forests and woodlands of hagenia, juniper, podocarpus, olive, acacia, candelabra euphorbia, combretum and fig.
It commonly visits gardens, especially with seeding trees in Addis Ababa. The lovebird flies in noisy flocks which number usually five to ten individuals although as many as 50 to 80 individuals may be present. It flies swiftly and makes sharp turns at high speeds; it moves its wings in quick, short flaps, the black under the wings being obvious then. Both
sexes have a large bright red bill; the male has a red forehead, the female and immature do not/

PRINCE RUSPOLI'S TURACO (Turaco Ruspolii) wing 180-184m

Prince Ruspoli's Turaco is known in the literature from two areas in southern Ethiopia in juniper forests with dense evergreen undergrowth: one is at Arero and the other 80 kilometers north of Neghelli: both localities are 1800 meters (6000 feet) in elevation. This Turaco was first introduced to science when Prince Ruspoli collected it in either 1892 or 1893. Since Prince Ruspoli, an Italian explorer, was killed in an "encounter with an elephant" in the Lake Abaya area and unfortunately did not leave any notes about his travels, the locality and date of collection of the first specimen of this turaco remain unknown.


1 comment:

  1. Great pictures. I've never seen these birds before. Regards from Venice hotels