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Melodious Blackbird - BirdForum Opus

Photo by gatafrancesca
in Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico
Dives dives

Identification

Male 25.5 cm long and weighs 108 g. Female 23 cm long and weighs 95 g
Adult

  • Black plumage with a bluish sheen
  • Black bill, legs and feet
  • Brown iris

Sexes alike
Young birds are brownish black and lack the iridescence.

Distribution

It is a resident breeder from southeastern Mexico to Costa Rica. Its range is expanding: El Salvador was colonised in the 1950s, and eastern Guatemala in the 1960s. Prior to 1989 there was only one Costa Rican record, but it is now easily seen at least as far south as San José, and it is expected to colonise Panama.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

Habitat

Wide range of habitats, apart from dense forest and thick undergrowth. It has adapted to human habitation and can be seen in gardens and on lawns. This species has benefitted from deforestation, which has allowed its rapid range expansion through creation of suitable habitat.

Behaviour

Breeding

A breeding pair will give a display in which each bird spreads its tail, extends its wings, and ruffles its plumage. The song is a duet, with a see note, followed by a whit and a Northern Cardinal-like whistle. The call is a metallic puitt.

Both sexes build a cup nest of plant material 3-7 m high in a bush or tree and line it with mud and dung. 3-4 brown-blotched blue eggs are laid and incubated by the female, though the male helps with feeding the chicks.

Breeding birds are highly territorial, and adults will attack predators like the Brown Jay, but small flocks form outside the nesting season.

Diet

Diet includes insects, nectar and ripening maize ears; feeding is mostly on the ground.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

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