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GALLERIES > BIRDS > FURNARIIDA > RHINOCRYPTIDAE > MOUSTACHED TURCA [Pteroptochos megapodius]


Moustached Turca Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Moustached Turca (Pteroptochos megapodius) is a passerine bird which is endemic to Chile. It belongs to the tapaculo group and is a member of the genus Pteroptochos, along with the two species of huet-huet.

It is a stocky bird, 23-24 cm long, with a heavy bill and strong legs and feet. The tail is often held cocked. The plumage is mostly brown with white barring on the breast, belly and undertail-coverts. The bird has a dark eyestripe, white eyebrow and a broad white moustachial stripe. The bill and legs are black. The northern race atacamae is smaller and paler with less obvious barring on the underparts.

The song is a series of low, hooting notes lasting for 5 to 10 seconds. Birds often call while perched on top of a rock.

The nominate subspecies is found in central Chile from northern Bío-Bío Region north to Coquimbo Region. The isolated form atacamae occurs in Atacama Region. Both inhabit arid slopes with rocks and shrubbery from sea-level to high in the foothills of the Andes, reaching 3700 metres in the north. It is a mainly ground-dwelling bird which can run quickly. It feeds on invertebrates such as insects and worms.

The nest is built at the end of a tunnel up to two metres long which is dug in an earth bank or roadside cutting. Two or three white eggs are laid.





                                     



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