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Long-billed gnatwren

Ramphocaenus melanurus
Photo by Greg Lavaty (PBase)

Common name:
long-billed gnatwren (en); bico-assovelado (pt); microbate à long bec (fr); saltón picudo (es); schwarzschwanz-degenschnäbler (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Polioptilidae

This species is found in Central and South America, from southern Mexico down to Bolivia and south-eastern Brazil.

These birds are 11-13 cm long and weigh 9-11 g.

The long-billed gnatwren is found in dry forests and woodlands, moist tropical forests, second growths and scrublands. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 750 m.

They eat insects and small spiders, which they find in dense undergrowths.

Long-billed gnatwrens breed in April-June. The nest is a deep cup made of plant fibres and placed in a small plant, sapling or vine, near the ground. The female lays 2 white eggs with reddish-brown spots, which are incubated by both parents for 16-17 days. The chicks fledge 11-12 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 5-50 million individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation, but it is not considered threatened at present.

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