Saturday, 9 February 2013

Brazilian national bird - Rufous-bellied Thrush

The Rufous-bellied Thrush is the National Bird of Brazil, officially chosen in 2002. This species is also known as Red-bellied Thrush. Its melodious song makes this bird very attractive for humans, and it is often kept as a cage bird in Brazil. It is a songbird of the thrush family (Turdidae). It occurs in most of east and southeast Brazil from Maranhão south to Rio Grande do Sul states, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northern regions of Argentina.



Interesting Facts about Rufous-bellied Thrush are:

  1. The adult male has olive-brown upperparts slightly washed greyish, including head and face. Wings and tail are browner.
  2. The male has bill dull yellow, with dark base to upper mandible. The eyes are dark brown, surrounded by narrow orange-yellow eyering. Legs and feet are variably grey to light pinkish or purplish-horn. 
  3. Male breast is mostly buffish to pale buffish-brown. Rest of underparts are bright orange to orange-rufous.
  4. Female is similar as male with slightly duller and with greyer bill. 
  5. There are two subspecies of Rufous-bellied Thrush: T.r. rufiventris (here described and displayed), is found in E Bolivia, S Brazil, Paraguay, N Argentina and Uruguay. T.r. juensis is found in NE Brazil. This one is smaller with longer bill. It is paler above and has creamier breast.
  6. Rufous-bellied Thrush sings melodic song, a fast, rich carolling, often in the early morning before dawn. This song is usually given from hidden perch. 
  7. The song is typically slow, but during the breeding season, it becomes a loud melodious lilting series of varied phrases “koro koro-cheeere cheeeerie-tooodle” and a monotonous dialect song “dewee-dewo dewee-dewo, fewri-tewri…”
  8. In non-breeding period, the song differs and becomes more resonant “juh-joeit, drew-wip, drew-wip, drew-wip…”
  9. This species is usually shy, often hiding in the dense foliage. But when foraging, it can be seen hopping and running about near cover or on forest trails, paths and riverbanks.
  10. It is usually more active and vocal in the late afternoon, before to reach its nightime-roost.
  11. They are living in pair all year round in their territory, sometimes sharing areas with other thrushes of the same species, but without more social behaviour. 
  12. The Rufous-bellied Thrush builds a large cup-shaped nest at 1-3 metres above the ground, in tree, close to the trunk.
  13. The female lays 3-4 bluish or greenish eggs with dark spots and blotches. Incubation by both adults lasts 13-15 days.
Note: The Rufous-bellied Thrush is common in its range. This species is able to adapt to new areas due to deforestation and degradation of its habitat. Numbers are currently stable and this species is not globally threatened.