aves do brasil

aves do brasil

(Parte 2 de 2)

The Atlantic rain forest also has a wealth of birdlife, comprising one of the world’s regions with the greatest biodiversity and greatest degree of endemism. In the past, it stretched between the States of Rio Grande do Norte and Rio Grande do Sul. But urbanization and farming have not spared it, and not much remains of the great coastal forest. Only between the States of Rio de Janeiro and Santa Catarina are there sections of Atlantic rain forest that still hark back to the former greatness of this ecosystem.

The other Brazilian natural domains may not shelter as many birds as these two forests, but there is abundant fauna, compared with most of the regions in the rest of the world.

The bush lands are found typically in central Brazil and consist of a large variety of settings, from the savannas – natural prairies, to the wastelands – low, dense growths. On the banks of the rivers there are typical vegetation formations called mata galeriaand the burity palm groves. With a similar abundance of different environments, it is only natural that the bush lands be inhabited by a large number of birds, including several species not found in other ecosystems.

The caatingais, perhaps, the most Brazilian of all of the ecosystems, because it grows only in the northeast of the nation. Despite its arid conditions, this brush land area, that for most of the year appears to be dry and desolate, shelters a wealth of bird fauna which is adapted to the rigorous climate, with several interesting endemisms.

In the Pantanal, there are practically no exclusive species, since this is not a separate ecosystem but, rather, a complex blend of flora and fauna from other Brazilian ecosystems. This wetlands area, however, is special and unique, because there is no other region in the country where it is so easy to see so many species of such spectacular birds. It’s no fluke that the Pantanal draws so many Nature lovers from Brazil and abroad.

Besides these types of vegetation, many others round out the diverse scenario for our birds, like the southern grasslands, araucária(Brazilian pine) forests, mangroves and sandbanks, ocean islands, high mountain grasslands and marshes. Thus, Brazil owes its great diversity of birds to its no less extraordinary scenic wealth.

Both our birdlife and our countryside, however, are highly threatened. Environmental destruction affects not only the forests, but also the other ecosystems. Caatinga, bush lands and grasslands give way to farming. Urbanization spreads along coastal areas. Rivers and marshes get domestic and industrial pollutants. Even the environments created by humans are affected by slashing and burning, pollution and highway building, the latter creating barriers to animal circulation. Environmental encroachments result in reduced numbers of species, as well as less members of those species. The situation is aggravated by bird hunters and animal poachers who are encouraged by an avid market for "exotic" pets, both inside and outside of Brazil. Not to mention hunting, which is justified as a sport, the need for food, protecting private herds or related to superstitions.

Much can be done by each one of us to guarantee the preservation of our birds. We must not buy wild animals, unless their origins are legal and authorized by IBAMA (Brazilian Environmental Institute). As for home construction, no matter how much you want to live close to Nature, avoid buying lots in forested or recently cleared areas. Rather, the best thing is to create a new forest: plant the property’s standing preservation areas with species native to the region. Arts and crafts using wild bird feathers or wood threatened with extinction must be discouraged. And it’s always good to visit and give value to our national parks and other conservation areas, museums and research institutes.

Above all, children must be taught to be curious about and interested in our natural resources in order to treat them with special care. The most effective road to environmental preservation is paved with respect and love, and the best way to protect our birds, in all their beauty and diversity, is to care for the areas in which they live.

Papagaio-verdadeiro

(Amazona aestiva) Blue-fronted Amazon

Os pés dos psitacídeos, como o papagaio-verdadeiro, têm dois dedos voltados para a frente e dois para trás, e facilitam o movimento lateral ao longo dos galhos.

The feet of the psittacidae, like the blue-fronted amazon, have two toes facing forward and two backward, facilitating lateral movement along branches.

Cardeal-do-banhado (Amblyramphus holosericeus) Scarlet-headed Blackbird

O cardeal-do-banhado vive em brejos, taboais e juncais. Pode ser visto quando se empoleira para cantar, em ramos e varetas expostos.

The scarlet-headed blackbird lives in wetlands, bamboo thickets, and among sedges and rushes. It can be seen when it alights on branches and exposed sticks to sing.

Iratauá-grande

(Gymnomystax mexicanus) Oriole Blackbird

O vistoso iratauá-grande vive ao longo do vale do Rio Amazonas, em casais ou pequenos bandos.

Habita campos úmidos, brejos e matas galerias.

The eye-catching oriole blackbird lives along the valley of the Amazon River, in pairs or small flocks. It inhabits wetlands, swamps and riverside vegetation.

Cambacica (Coereba flaveola) Bananaquit

O bico fino da cambacica permite que ela alcance o néctar no fundo das flores, como a desta bromélia. É um pássaro comum em jardins por todo o Brasil.

The thin beak of the bananaquit allows it to reach the nectar deep inside flowers, like this bromeliad. It is a common bird in gardens and yards all over Brazil.

Garça-branca-grande

(Casmerodius albus) Great Egret

De hábito solitário, a garça-branca-grande fica pousada à beira d’água, imóvel, esperando por suas presas, como peixes, anfíbios, insetos e até serpentes.

With its solitary habits, the great egret stands, motionless, at the edge of the water, waiting for its prey, like fish, amphibians, insects and even snakes.

Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Greater Flamingo

O flamingo-grande existe em regiões tropicais ao redor do mundo. No Brasil, reproduz-se só no Amapá, onde habita as lagoas rasas costeiras. Usa o estranho bico para filtrar a água e extrair os bichinhos e algas de que se alimenta. Ao descansar, vira o pescoço para trás e apóia a cabeça nas costas.

The greater flamingo exists in tropical regions all over the world. In Brazil, it breeds only in the State of Amapá, where it inhabits shallow coastal lagoons. It uses its strange beak to filter the water and extract the tiny living things and algae on which it feeds. At rest, it turns its neck backwards, resting its head on its back.

Tico-tico

(Zonotrichia capensis) Rufous-collared Sparrow

Habitante original de ambientes com poucas árvores, como os campos e cerrados, o tico-tico constrói o ninho no chão, em touceiras de capim e em moitas, e nele coloca de três a cinco ovos. Capaz de conviver com as pessoas, nas cidades nidifica em canteiros ornamentais e até em vasos.

Originally an inhabitant of environments with few trees, like fields and bush lands, the rufous-collared sparrow builds its nest on the ground, in clumps of grass and in thickets, where it lays clutches of three to five eggs. It can survive around humans and in cities it makes nests in ornamental gardens and even in vases.

(Parte 2 de 2)

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