Northern fantail

Rhipidura rufiventris

TAXONOMY

Platyrhynchos rufiventris Vieillot, 1818, Timor. Twenty-four subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: White-throated fantail; French: Rhipidure a ventre chamois; German: Witwen-Fächerschwanz; Spanish: Cola de Abanico Norteño.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.5-7.1 in (16.5-18.0 cm); 0.35-0.6 oz (10-17 g). Gray-brown plumage with buff belly and white lateral tail feathers. White streaks on breast; white brow and chin to throat.

DISTRIBUTION

Northern Australia, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Moluccas, Lesser Sunda Islands. Found mainly in the low lands and hills, locally up to 5,400 ft (1,640 m) on New Britain.

HABITAT

This species can be found in a range of habitats, including open eucalypt woodland, rainforest fringes, mangrove forest, monsoon forest, riverine vegetation, wooded swamps, tall secondary growth, forest edges, and garden areas.

BEHAVIOR

Territorial, usually solitary or in pairs. Often conspicuous when it chooses exposed perches. Often joins mixed-species feeding flocks. Less active than other fantails; spends more time perching and engages in more sedate aerial pursuits. Generally quiet, unobtrusive, undemonstrative. Typical stance upright with the tail held vertically.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Eats a variety of insects obtained almost entirely by hawking, although sometimes gleaned from branches and leaves. Commonly joins mixed-species foraging flocks of other small insectivorous songbirds.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

A pair may produce 1-2 broods per season, which runs from Aug.-Jan. in Australia and from the mid-dry to the mid-wet season in New Guinea. Both parents build the nest, incubate, and care for the young. The female lays two spotted eggs in the small cup nest. As with most fantails, this has a tail about 2.8 in (7 cm) long hanging from the underside.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Generally common to fairly common; not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

0 0

Post a comment