Overview

Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Native to Africa. Introduced and established in HI on Hawaii (Puu Waa Waa) and Oahu (seemed established in mid-1970s, fewer observations now; Kapiolani Park area only) (Pratt et al. 1987).

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 13 cm

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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Thornbrush, savanna, forest edge, cultivated lands, around human habitation (AOU 1983). Nests among tree branches.

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Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

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General Ecology

Gregarious.

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Nesting observed in Hawaii in fall and winter (Berger 1981). Clutch size 4-5.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Uraeginthus bengalus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common to abundant (Clement 1999).

Population Trend
Stable
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Uses

Comments: Popular cage bird.

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Wikipedia

Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu

The red-cheeked cordon-bleu (Uraeginthus bengalus) is a small passerine bird. This estrildid finch is a resident breeding bird in drier regions of tropical sub-Saharan Africa. Red-cheeked cordon-bleu has an estimated global extent of occurrence of 7,700,000 km².

Systematics[edit]

When he first described the red-cheeked cordon-bleu in his 1766 edition of Systema Naturae, Carl Linnaeus assigned it to the genus Fringilla.[2] It was later moved to the genus Uraeginthus, along with the rest of the cordon-bleus and grenadiers.[3] The red-cheeked cordon-bleu, the blue-capped cordon-bleu, and the blue waxbill—form a species group within the genus. Further, the red-cheeked cordon-bleu may form a superspecies with the blue waxbill, with which it shares similar habitats.[4]

There are four subspecies, which differ primarily in the amount of blue on the face and underparts of the females.[5]

  • U. b. bengalus
  • U. b. brunneigularis
  • U. b. littoralis
  • U. b. ugogoensis

On 15 February 2013, the American Ornithologists' Union marked this species in their database as a taxonomic synonym to the incertae sedis family containing the bananaquit.[6] No explanation was given, and it would seem this may have been a mistake.

Description[edit]

Like other members of its genus, the red-cheeked cordon-bleu is a very small finch, measuring only 12.5–13 cm (4.9–5.1 in) in length.[2] It weighs 9.9 g (0.35 oz) on average, with known extremes in wild populations ranging from 8.9–11 g (0.31–0.39 oz).[7] The adult male has uniformly brown upperparts, pale blue breast, flanks and tail and a yellow belly. There is a red patch on each cheek, but this can rarely appear orange or even yellow. Females are similar but duller, and lack the cheek spot. Immature birds are like the female, but with blue restricted to the face and throat.

Voice[edit]

Its contact call is a thin, high-pitched piping, often repeated, and variously transcribed as siii siii or tsee tsee.[5][8] The song is more complex, consisting of 4–6 high-pitched notes, the last of which is longer, lower and more burry. Described as "rhythmic but lazy",[5] it has been transcribed as wit-sit-diddley-diddley-ee-ee.[8] Unlike many other passerines, but like all cordon-bleu species, female red-cheeked cordon-bleus sing; they also help to defend a small area around their nest site. Their song is less complex than that of the males, and they sing less frequently. Female song peaks primarily before egg-laying, and is thought to help with pair bond maintenance or breeding synchronization.[9]

Habitat and range[edit]

The red-cheeked cordon-bleu is common and widespread across much of central and eastern Africa. Its range stretches from the West African countries of Senegal, Gambia and southwestern Mauritania east through southern Mali, southern Niger, southern Chad and southern Sudan to Ethiopia and northwestern and southwestern Somalia, and then south to southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, eastern Angola, northern and western Zambia, southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique. It has also been introduced to the Hawaiian Islands of Hawaii and Oahu.[10] It has been found one time (in 1924) on Cape Verde and was recorded in the Maadi area in northern Egypt during the mid-1960s; the latter birds may have been escaped cage birds, as there have been no records since.[11]

It is found in all habitats except forest interiors,[5] at elevations ranging from sea level to 2,430 m (7,970 ft).[12]

Behaviour[edit]

It is frequently seen at open dry grassland and savanna habitats as well as around human habitation.

Feeding[edit]

The red-cheeked cordon-bleu is a granivore, feeding principally on grass seeds, but also on millet and other small seeds.[2] It is also known to feed sporadically on beeswax.[13] Larger granivores, such as the pin-tailed whydah will chase cordon-bleus from food sources, limiting the feeding opportunities of the smaller birds and affecting their foraging success.[14]

Breeding[edit]

The nest is a large domed grass structure with a side entrance in a tree, bush or thatch into which 4–5 white eggs are laid.

Origin[edit]

Origin and phylogeny has been obtained by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena et al.[15] Estrildinae may have originated in India and dispersed thereafter (towards Africa and Pacific Ocean habitats).

Aviculture[edit]

The red-cheeked cordon-bleu is reported to be "among the most popular exotic finches".[16] While it has no special housing requirements, its habit of roosting on open branches (rather than in a nest or other protected area) makes it sensitive to low temperatures. During the breeding season, captive males become very aggressive towards each other, and birds disturbed during incubation will typically leave the nest.[16]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Uraeginthus bengalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Clement, Harris & Davis, p. 362.
  3. ^ Clement, Harris & Davis, p. 361.
  4. ^ Lewis, Adrian; Pomeroy, Derek E. (1989). A Bird Atlas of Kenya. Rotterdam, Netherlands: CRC Press. pp. 543–544. ISBN 978-90-6191-716-8. 
  5. ^ a b c d Stevenson, Terry; Fanshawe, John (2004). Birds of East Africa. A & C Black. p. 548. ISBN 978-0-7136-7347-0. 
  6. ^ "Species: Uraeginthus bengalus (Red-cheeked Cordonbleu, Cordonbleu à joues rouges)". AOU checklist of North and Middle American birds. Retrieved 14 Apr 2013. 
  7. ^ Dunning, Jr., John Barnard, ed. (2008). CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses (2 ed.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. 506. ISBN 978-1-4200-6444-5. 
  8. ^ a b Barlow, Clive; Wacher, Tim (1997). A Field Guide to the Birds of The Gambia and Senegal. Pica Press. pp. 372–373. ISBN 1-873403-32-1. 
  9. ^ Marler, Peter; Slabbekoorn, Hans William (2004). Nature's Music: The Science of Birdsong, volume 1. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. pp. 76–77. ISBN 0-12-473070-1. 
  10. ^ Sibley, Charles G.; Monroe, Burt Leavelle (1990). Distribution and Taxonomy of Birds of the World. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. p. 692. ISBN 978-0-300-04969-5. 
  11. ^ Cramp, Stanley, ed. (1994). Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, volume VIII: Crows to Finches. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 420. ISBN 978-0-19-854679-5. 
  12. ^ Ash, J. S.; Atkins, John D.; Ash, Caroline P. (2009). Birds of Ethiopia and Eritrea: An Atlas of Distribution. London, UK: Christopher Helm. p. 349. ISBN 978-1-4081-0979-3. 
  13. ^ Horne, Jennifer F. M.; Short, Lester L. (June 1990). "Wax-eating by African Common Bulbuls" (PDF). The Wilson Bulletin 102 (2): 339–341. 
  14. ^ Savalli, Udo M. (1990). "Interspecific aggression for food by a granivorous bird" (PDF). The Condor 92 (4): 1082–1084. doi:10.2307/1368749. 
  15. ^ Arnaiz-Villena, A; Ruiz-del-Valle V, Gomez-Prieto P, Reguera R, Parga-Lozano C, Serrano-Vela I (2009). "Estrildinae Finches (Aves, Passeriformes) from Africa, South Asia and Australia: a Molecular Phylogeographic Study". The Open Ornithology Journal 2: 29–36. doi:10.2174/1874453200902010029. 
  16. ^ a b Koepff, Christa; Romangnano, April (2001). The Finch Handbook. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series. ISBN 0-7641-1826-9. 

Sources[edit]

  • Clement, Peter; Harris, Alan; Davis, John (1993). Finches and Sparrows: An Identification Guide. London, UK: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0691034249. 
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