Green catbird

Ailuroedus crassirostris taxonomy

Ailuroedus crassirostris Paykull, 1815, Nova Hollandia = Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

other common names

English: Spotted catbird, large-billed cat bird, Australasian catbird; French: Jardinier vert; German: Grünlaubenvogel; Spanish: Capulinero Verde.

physical characteristics 12.2 in (31 cm); female 0.37-0.47 lb (169-211 g), male 0.37-0.64 lb (167-289 g). Brownish head with lime-green up-perparts and lighter, streaked coloring underneath; white-tipped wing coverts and tail.

distribution

Subtropical coastal east Australia, from Dawes Range in north to due east of Canberra, at sea level to 3,300 ft (1,000 m) altitude.

habitat

Primarily subtropical rainforest, but also adjacent rainforest edges, eucalyptus forests, gardens, and orchards.

behavior

Perennial socially monogamous pair bonding within an allpurpose territory. Mean year round home range is up to five acres (two ha) but is smaller during the breeding season. Only females build nest, incubate, and brood. Both sexes feed young. Vocal repertoire is of cat-like wailing territorial song and sharp, high-pitched, tick-like contact notes. No mimicry.

feeding ecology and diet

Omnivorous, but predominantly frugivorous; specializes in Ficus figs and other fruits. Also eats flowers, buds, leaves, stems, seeds, arthropods, and small vertebrates, including birds. Mostly forages in the canopy but also to the ground.

reproductive biology

Breeding mid-September through February/March, egg laying peaks October through December. A large, bulky, open cup nest is mostly built in tree forks, but also found in vine tangles, atop epiphytic ferns, and in tree ferns, at 6.6-60 ft (2-18 m) above ground. Nests are composed of a stick foundation, a cup of large dried leaves and occasional vine stems, a layer of decaying wood and sometimes earthy matter of epiphytic Asple-nium ferns, and a fine twiglet/vine tendril egg-cup lining. One to three pale buff, unmarked eggs are laid. Incubation last 23-24 days; nestling period is 21 days.

conservation status

Not threatened. Fairly common and widespread throughout remaining habitat, but rare to absent in rainforest patches of about 6 acres (2.5 ha) and smaller.

significance to humans

Once shot for eating and for sport. Some birds are still killed because they attack cultivated fruit crops. ♦

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