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Strange Tails

We're delighted to have a strong population of strange-tailed tyrants at the reserve. So much so that we've adopted these beautiful and endangered birds as the symbol of the Trust

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Saffron-cowled Blackbird

Saffron-cowled Blackbird

Xanthopsar flavus

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The Saffron-cowled Blackbird is part of the Icteridae family.  The male of this species has a golden yellow head, rump and underparts.  Upperparts are black as are the lores, tail, nape and legs.  The female is less brilliantly coloured, with a streaky olive-brown crown and upperparts, and yellow rump, eyebrow and underparts.    Length is around 19cm.

These birds are in serious decline in Argentina and are difficult to find.  Their range covers S. Brazil, E. Paraguay, NE Argentina and Uruguay and they are classed as Vulnerable in the IUCN redlist.

We do not yet have these stunning birds at the reserve but hope to re-introduce them in the near future as they should be perfectly adapted to our area and were reasonably common here a few years ago.

They tend to flock with Yellow-rumped Marshbirds and graze on seeds whilst remaining close to water.  Breeding is generally colonial and they appear to prefer short grass for foraging close to marshy areas.  Breeding is generally colonial although single nests are not uncommon.

As with other grassland species threats predominantly come from human impacts including pesticides,burning, drainage, plantations, conversion of grassland to rice fields and the pet trade. 

This photo was taken at a friend's estancia called 'Virocay' which is situated near to Virasorro.

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