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Breeding biology of White-rumped Tanagers in central Brazil

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White-rumped Tanagers (Cypsnagra hirundinacea) are widely distributed in northern Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, and are classified as vulnerable in the state of Paraná and as endangered in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Little is currently known about their breeding biology. We studied the breeding behavior of White-rumped Tanagers in the Cerrado (Neotropical savanna) in central Brazil from 2002 to 2007. The breeding period extended from mid-August to mid-December. Nests were cup-shaped and located mainly in trees of the genus Kielmeyera at a mean height of 3.7 ± 0.3 m (SE). Clutch sizes varied from one to three eggs and the incubation period lasted an average of 16.0 ± 0.3 d. Incubation was by females only and started with the laying of the first egg. Mean nest attentiveness (percent time on nests by females) was 64 ± 0.08%. Nestlings were fed by males, females, and, when present, helpers. The mean rate of food delivery rate to nests was 5.2 ± 0.4 items/h, with rates similar for males (mean = 2.7 ± 0.3 items/h) and females (mean = 2.4 ± 0.3 items/h). The mean duration of the nestling period was 12.1 ± 0.5 d. Compared to many temperate species of tanagers, White-rumped Tanagers in our study had relatively small clutches, low nest attentiveness, and long incubation periods. As with other tropical species, such characteristics might be due to food limitation or high rates of nest predation.
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Keywords: Cypsnagra hirundinacea; breeding biology; cerrado; life history; neotropical savanna

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade de Brasília, 70.910-900, Brasília, DF, Brazil

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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