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GALLERIES > BIRDS > PASSERIFORMES > THRAUPIDAE > RED-CROWNED ANT-TANAGER [Habia rubica]

Red-crowned Ant-Tanager Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Red-crowned Habia, Habia rubica, is a medium-sized passerine bird from tropical America. The genus Habia was long placed with the tanagers (Thraupidae) and thus H. rubica is often still called Red-crowned Ant-tanager, but it is actually closer to the cardinals (Cardinalidae).

Red-crowned Habias are 18 cm long and weigh 34 g (male) or 31 g (female). Adult males are dull reddish brown with a brighter red throat and breast. The black-bordered scarlet crown stripe is raised when the bird is excited. The female is yellowish brown, with a yellow throat and yellow-buff crown stripe.

The Red-crowned Habia is a shy but noisy bird. Its call is a rattle followed by a musical pee-pee-pee.

This bird is a resident breeder from Mexico south to Paraguay and northern Argentina, and on Trinidad. It preferentially occurs in the middle stratum of the forest as well as undergrowth rich in ferns, shrubs and herbs. These birds are found in pairs or family groups. They eat mainly arthropods, but berries are also taken. In Central America and Trinidad they frequently attend army ant columns, and in the lowland forests of southeastern Brazil they are a nuclear species of understory mixed-species feeding flocks. They also follow coatimundis (Nasua nasua) on their feeding excursions, namely in the dry season. In both cases, they are commensales, snatching invertebrate prey startled by the ants or coatimundis.

The shallow cup nest is usually built in a sapling or tree fern near a stream, and the normal clutch is two brown-blotched white eggs. The female incubates the eggs for 13 days to hatching, with about ten days more before the chicks fledge.





                                     



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