Bird Families

Striped Wren Anttrap / Myrmotherula surinamensis


(Thamnophilidae) Family Thamnophilidae, Striped Anttraps, Family Thamnophilidae

Life of animals. Volume 5. Birds Edited by Professor L.A. Zenkevich 1970

The order of passerine birds covers a huge number of species and a large number of families. More than half (according to the estimates of the famous ornithologist Mayr, 63%) of the bird species inhabiting the Earth belongs to this order. However, the share of passerines in the avifauna is not the same everywhere. Most of them are in the forests of warm and hot latitudes, the farther north, the more passerine birds and absolutely and relatively decreases. For example, in the tundra of the northeast of the European part of the USSR, only 29% of the total number of species registered there belongs to the passerine order, and in the north of the Yakut ASSR there are even fewer of them.
Passerines are birds of medium and small size. The largest representative of the order - the crow weighs 1100-1600 g, the smallest passerine fauna of the USSR (kinglet) weigh 5-7 g. In tropical countries, some sunbirds weigh 3-4 g. Outwardly, passerine birds are very diverse. Their beaks are of various shapes, more or less straight, but there is also a long curved, sometimes short massive, sometimes triangular, flattened from top to bottom, with a wide slit of the mouth. In crossbills, the upper and lower beaks intersect. Tarsus and toes of moderate length, 4 toes, with the first toe facing back. The claws are curved, only the back (first) toe can sometimes have a long and more or less straight claw. The wings can be long and rather sharp (like a swallow) or short and blunt. The number of primary flight feathers is 10-11, of secondary ones. Sometimes the innermost secondary flight feathers are noticeably elongated, they form a so-called pigtail, as, for example, in wagtails. There are usually 12 tail feathers, rarely more (up to 16) or less (only 6). The very first flywheel is often underdeveloped and can be detected only with a careful examination of the wing. The tail has a variety of shapes. It can be long or short, straight cut or rounded, stepped, wedge-shaped, fork-shaped cut. Sexual dimorphism is expressed in size, voice, often in the color of the plumage, sometimes in the development of Ukrainians and adorning feathers in males. The brain in passerine birds is highly developed.
Most passerine bird species are associated with trees and shrubs. Some of them, such as pikas, nuthatches, bloodworms and others, spend almost their entire life in trees. Some (swallows) can be called air dwellers. There are relatively few terrestrial species (larks, except for whiskers, wagtails, wheatears, chisels).
Passerines are monogamous chicks. Their chicks hatch from eggs helpless, blind, naked or covered with only sparse down. For at least 10 days, until they fledge, they are in the nest, where their parents bring them food. Feeding chicks continues for some time after their departure from the nest. The arrangement of carefully made nests is characteristic of passerines; some species (pendants, corpses) stand out in this regard. The places where the nests are placed are varied. Many species nest on the ground, others in burrows, on stones and in crevices of rocks, many birds nest in trees (on branches and in hollows) and bushes, some species (for example, swallows) in human buildings. The choice of a nesting site is usually made by the male, who, as a rule, arrives at the nesting site somewhat earlier than the female.
Eggs in passerines are medium-sized, usually variegated, but sometimes, more often in species nesting in hollows, monochromatic. In a clutch there are more often 4-6 eggs, in some species of tits there are up to 15-16, in some Australian species there is only 1 egg in a clutch. Many species have two clutches per year, rarely one or three. Species that are widespread can have one clutch in the north of the range, and three in the south. Sometimes both clutches are so close in time that the female begins to build a second nest and lay eggs before the chicks of the first hatch acquire independence. The first generation of chicks (for example, in the blackbird warbler) is then raised by the male.
Passeriformes usually begin to incubate after laying all the eggs, but in many species, incubation begins with the penultimate egg, in some from the middle of the clutch, and few species (crossbills, crows) begin incubation after laying the first egg. The duration of incubation in most species is 11-14 days, but the raven incubates for 19-20 days, and the lyre bird incubates for about 45 days. Chicks grow quickly and leave the nest in 10-11 days in species nesting on the ground (in larks even after 9 days). But in hollow and nesting nests, chicks fly out later, for example, in a titmouse on the 23rd, and in a nuthatch on the 26th day of life. Both parents feed juveniles, with rare exceptions.
The nesting plumage of many passerine birds (redstarts, flycatchers, thrush, etc.) is characterized by a peculiar scaly pattern, the chick plumage of larks is characterized by the presence of peculiar light streaks. In many other cases, juvenile chicks are similar in color to females.
Sexual maturity usually occurs at the age of one year, in the raven later - at the age of two. At the same time, an adult outfit is purchased. Passerines moult once a year, complete. The bright spring outfit of many species is not acquired as a result of molting, but as a result of the exposure of the dull edges of the feathers, which covered the brighter middle part of the feather.
The food of passerine birds is varied. Some species are omnivorous (ravens), others feed on plant food and only nestlings are fed on insects, most species are insectivorous. The vast majority of passerines are useful birds. Many passerine birds are sedentary, but most species inhabiting places with a sharp change in seasonal conditions of existence are migratory.
Passerines are widespread throughout the world, most of them in hot countries, they are not in Antarctica. In the mountains, some species rise to the alpine zone.
The order includes about 5100 species of birds. All of them, despite significant differences in appearance and biological characteristics, are essentially rather monotonous, and in many cases it is not possible to find a sufficiently substantiated criterion to divide the detachment into families, to establish their volume and order of arrangement in the system.
On the basis of the structure of the vocal cords, toes and other structural and lifestyle features, passerines are divided into 4 suborders: hornbills (Eurylaimi) with one family and 14 species that live in Africa and Southeast Asia, screaming (Clamatores, or Tyranni) with 14 families and almost 1100 species, inhabiting mainly South America, in a small number North America and the tropics of the Eastern Hemisphere, half-singing (Menurae) with 2 families and 4 species inhabiting Australia, singers (Oscines), widespread throughout the world, numbering the largest the number of species (about 4000) and united in 49 families. In total, there are 66 families in the detachment. The greatest ambiguities in the taxonomy of families are found in the suborder of singers. We adhere (with some deviations) to the arrangement of families in the suborder of songbirds, recommended by the international meeting of ornithologists in Basel in 1964. This corresponds to the order adopted in the Check-list the Birds of the World and the arrangement of families in the Identifier of the Birds of the USSR by N. A. Gladkov, G. P. Dementieva, E. S. Ptushenko, A. M. Sudilovskaya (1964). In A New Dictionary of Birds, published in 1964 under the general editorship of L. Thomson, the same order.
It is characterized by a number of anatomical features, in particular, the simple structure of the lower larynx, which has no more than 2 pairs of vocal muscles, and a peculiar arrangement of the muscles of the fingers.
Ant family (Formicariidae) includes a large number of small and medium (from 10 to 25 cm in length) species, usually dark-colored, but often in stripes or spots and with a more or less noticeable crest on the crown. Sexual dimorphism is well pronounced. Most species make fairly simple open nests by placing them in a fork in a tree or bush. Some species make closed nests and place them on the surface of the ground, some nest in hollows.
In search of food, anttrap fuss like thrushes in the forest twilight on the ground. Few species predominantly eat ants and termites, but most have a wider range of foods, feeding on a wide variety of insects. Thus, the name of the family "ant-trap" does not reflect the actual feeding pattern of these birds.
A bird with a complex name striped wren (Myrmotherula surinamensis), fully justifies its name "striped", since the coloring of its plumage consists mainly of black and white longitudinal stripes. On the upper side of the body, on the wings and tail, the black color is more pronounced, on the underside it is more white, the undertail is lead-gray. Females have rusty tones in plumage. The wing length of this bird is 50–53 mm, weight is 7–9 g. The striped wren is common in South America from Panama to Colombia and Western Ecuador. He prefers damp places near ponds or marshes. It feeds on spiders and insects.
Striped Shrike Anttrap (Thamnophilus doliatus) all in black and white stripes, longitudinal on the head, on the body, tail and transverse wings. The beak is strong, the upper beak ends with a small marigold. There is a crest on the head. The tail is rather short, the legs are strong. The female is generally reddish in color, without black. Wing length 75-80 mm, weight 25-35 g.
The Shrike Anttrap inhabits dry wastelands and savanna shrubs, and also nests in areas of bamboo thickets. This is one of the few ant-traps that can be seen near human settlements. At the beginning of the breeding season (and it continues, if we talk about the species as a whole, almost the whole year), both the male and the female sing in a rhythmic duet, bristling the feathers of the crest and wagging their tail. The nest is an open basket of dry grass - they are placed in a fork in a bush at a low height above the ground. Both future parents build it. In clutch there are 2-3 whitish eggs with indistinct purple spots and streaks. A nest with eggs can be found at any time of the year. Incubation lasts 14 days, the female and the male replace each other approximately every hour, but at night the female sits on the eggs. The hatched chicks stay in the nest for 12 days, both parents feed them.
This anttrap feeds on various berries, in addition, it eats hymenoptera - ants, bees, wasps, also beetles, butterflies, and termites.
The striped shrike anttrap is widespread in Central and South America, from Mexico in the north to Bolivia and northeastern Brazil in the south.