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Lesser Rhea

From Opus

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*''R. p. tarapacensis'' - Puna of n Chile (Arica to Atacama) *''R. p. tarapacensis'' - Puna of n Chile (Arica to Atacama)
*''R. p. pennata'' - Patagonian steppes of s Argentina and Magellanic Chile *''R. p. pennata'' - Patagonian steppes of s Argentina and Magellanic Chile
-The Lesser Rhea has been proposed split into two species: Puna Rhea (''Rhea tarapacensis'') with subspecies ''garleppi'', and Darwin's Rhea (''Rhea pennata'')<sup>[[#References|[4]]]</sup>.+The Lesser Rhea has been proposed split into two species: Puna Rhea (''Rhea tarapacensis'') with subspecies ''garleppi'', and Darwin's Rhea (''Rhea pennata'')<sup>[[#References|[2]]]</sup><sup>[[#References|[4]]]</sup>.
==Habitat== ==Habitat==

Revision as of 10:31, 18 January 2019

Photo © by Joseph MorlanLaguna los Palos, Magallanes, Chile, 5 February 2015
Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Laguna los Palos, Magallanes, Chile, 5 February 2015

Alternative name: Darwin's Rhea; includes Puna Rhea

Rhea pennata

Contents

Identification

Photo © by Peter R. Bono Near near Seno Otway penguin colony, Punta Arenas, Chile, 10 February 2003
Photo © by Peter R. Bono
Near near Seno Otway penguin colony, Punta Arenas, Chile, 10 February 2003

Length: 92½–100 cm. (36½-39¼ in.)
Plumage greyish-brown with whitish underparts. Upperparts are flecked with white white spots which help distinguish it from the larger Greater Rhea. The female is duller with fewer and smaller white spots on the back. Juveniles are browner and lack the white spotting. They generally attain full adult plumage in their first or second year. Young chicks are greyish brown with black stripes.

Distribution

Peru, Bolivia, northern Chile and north-western Argentina, and well separated from the above, in southern Chile and Argentina.

Taxonomy

Pterocnemia vs. Rhea

Some authorities (Howard & Moore, 2003) place Lesser Rhea (R. pennata) in the monotypic genus Pterocnemia. However, Sibley & Monroe (1996), Clements (2007) and SACC since July 2008 place pennata within Rhea and the Opus follows the majority.

Subspecies

This is a polytypic species with three subspecies[1].

  • R. p. garleppi - Desert puna of se Peru, sw Bolivia and nw Argentina
  • R. p. tarapacensis - Puna of n Chile (Arica to Atacama)
  • R. p. pennata - Patagonian steppes of s Argentina and Magellanic Chile

The Lesser Rhea has been proposed split into two species: Puna Rhea (Rhea tarapacensis) with subspecies garleppi, and Darwin's Rhea (Rhea pennata)[2][4].

Habitat

Grass and scrubland, in the north at high elevation, in the south in lowland and foothills.

Behaviour

Rheas are flightless but are adept runners, reaching speeds of up to 60 km/hr.

Breeding

Their mating system is both Polyandry and Polygyny. Males mate with multiple females and females mate with multiple males. The nest is a scrape in the ground, lined with dry grass or twigs. It is built by the male who incubates and cares for young from multiple females. Each nest may contain between 10 and 30 eggs, which start yellowish green but fade to buff over time. The male incubates the eggs and cares for the young. Incubation period is around 40 days. The young are about 90 percent of adult size by 8 to 9 months but may not reach sexual maturity until about three years in males, and two years in females.

Diet

They are omnivorous feeders, taking mostly plant matter including grasses and seeds, but also small animals, especially insects.

Vocalisations

The male makes a low roaring sound during breeding.

Movements

Resident but southern populations move into uplands for breeding.

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Jaramillo, A. 2003. Birds of Chile. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691117409
  3. Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/lesrhe2
  4. Folch, A., Christie, D.A., Jutglar, F. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Lesser Rhea (Rhea pennata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/52400 on 18 January 2019).

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