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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 26(3): 189–191. SHORT-COMMUNIC ARTICLE ATION September 2018 A Narrow-billed Woodcreeper, Lepidocolaptes angustirostris, nesting in a mailbox 1,2 Marco A. Pizo Department of Zoology, Institute of Biosciences, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Rio Claro, SP, Brazil. Corresponding author: email@example.com Received on 12 April 2018. Accepted on 31 May 2018. ABSTRACT: Documenting the adaptations of birds to live in urban areas is important in a context of an anthropogenically altered world where such areas may represent novel ecological opportunities for birds. Here I report on a nest of the Narrow-billed Woodcreeper Lepidocolaptes angustirostris in a wooden mailbox in a suburban area. The nest was found in the first week of November 2016 with three eggs, and later two nestlings that died within approximately one week likely due to water leaking into the box. The ability of L. angustirostris to use man-made structures for foraging and nesting, and its typical o ccurrence in open areas (thus differing from the family pattern of predominantly forest species) are factors permitting the occupation of urban habitats. KEY-WORDS: breeding biology, Dendrocolaptidae, nest box, suburban, urban adapter. The utilization of man-made structures for foraging southeast Brazil. The mailbox was supported by a 1.2 and nesting may represent novel adaptations that m wood pole, and had a rectangular entrance (4 × 17 permit the occupation of urban environments by birds. cm) positioned in the upper third portion of the box Documenting such adaptations is important in a context and protected by an overhanging shelter (Fig. 1A). The of an anthropogenically altered world where the area nest was lined by a bed of bark flakes, apparently from occupied by cities is increasing, which represents threats an Eucalyptus species (several Eucalyptus trees were in a to many bird species (Loss et al. 2014, Woinarski et al. forest fragment 50 m from the nest), and contained three 2017) but ecological opportunities for others (Hill-III eggs when discovered. Unintentional disturbance by the & Scherer-Neto 1991, Petri et al. 2013). Here, I report mailbox owner caused the breakage of one egg, but two on a nest made by the Narrow-billed Woodcreeper nestling were present one week later (Fig. 1B). According Lepidocolaptes angustirostris in a mailbox in a suburban to the owner, a severe storm provoked water leaking into area (sensu Marzluff et al. 2001) in southeast Brazil. the mailbox causing the death of nestlings when they Lepidocolaptes angustirostris inhabits a variety of were approximately one-week old. habitats, from open woodlands to deciduous forests, Nest boxes are used as nesting sites by a variety plantations and the periphery of cities (Marantz et al. of birds, but as far as I know this is the first report of a 2003). It nests in natural and woodpecker cavities, but also woodcreeper using such a structure for nesting. The fact in crevices present in man-made structures such as cement that L. angustirostris naturally nests at low heights likely column, bridges, and electric poles (de la Peña 2010). contributed to the adoption of the mailbox as a nest site. Nesting occurs from October to January in Argentina, The behavioral and ecological flexibility of the species is Uruguay, Paraguay, south and southeast Brazil (Marantz another factor to consider. For instance, L. angustirostris et al. 2003). Nests in natural cavities in Argentina had an forage in walls and cement columns (Batisteli et al. 2017, average clutch size of 3.0 eggs (range 2–4 eggs, n = 4) and pers. obs.), and can breed in abandoned Eucalyptus were situated 2.2 m above the ground (1.4–3.2 m, n = 8; plantations (Pereira et al. 2015). These traits, together de la Peña 2010), while in the Cerrado of central Brazil with the fact that it typically occurs in open areas nests had 1.7 eggs (1–3, n = 7) and were 2.0 m high (n = (Marantz et al. 2003), most probably permit the status of 8; Marini et al. 2012). “urban adapter” for this woodcreeper species and help to The nest was found in the first week of November explain its geographic expansion into deforested areas of 2016 in a wooden mailbox (30 × 30 × 18 cm) located Atlantic Forest (Maldonado-Coelho et al. 2017). below a Licania tomentosa tree (Chrysobalanaceae) in the As secondary-cavity nesters, woodcreepers are likely o o outskirts of Rio Claro (22 21'50.86''S; 47 31'27.08''W), subjected to shortage of nest sites (Cockle et al. 2010), Narrow-billed Woodcreeper nesting in a mailbox Pizo Figure 1. (A) Front view of the mailbox where Lepidocolaptes angustirostris made its nest. Note the rectangular entrance protected by a shelter. (B) The interior of the box s howing two nestlings to the right and lining of bark flakes. which lead Sick (1997) to suggest that the provision (Passeriformes: Dendrocolaptidae), using an anthropogenic of nest boxes might help to maintain populations of substrate to forage on a wasp nest. Atualidades Ornitológicas 200: woodcreepers in forests where appropriate cavities for Cockle K.L., Martin K. & Drever M.C. 2010. Supply of tree-holes nesting is in short supply. This suggestion was apparently limits nest density of cavity-nesting birds in primary and logged supported by his observation that certain woodcreepers subtropical Atlantic Forest. Biological Conservation 143: 2851– (L. angustirostris and Lepidocolaptes squamatus) occasionally nest in buildings (Sick 1997, see also Jesus de la Peña M.R. 2010. Nidos de aves Argentinas (Digital). Santa Fe: Universidade Nacional del Litoral. & Mikich 2013), indicating that they might accept man- Hill-III J.R. & Scherer-Neto P. 1991. Black Vultures nesting on made structures for nesting. Besides adding another man- skyscrapers in southern Brazil. Journal of Field Ornithology 62: made structure to the list of potential nest sites for L. 173–176. angustirostris, the observation reported here indicates that Jesus S. & Mikich S.B. 2013. Registro de nidificação de Dendrocolaptes this and possibly other woodcreeper species may indeed platyrostris (Dendrocolaptidae) em forro de edificação semi-rural. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 17: 79–81. use nest boxes as Sick (1997) envisaged. Loss S.R., Will T., Loss S.S. & Marra P.P. 2014. Bird–building collisions in the United States: estimates of annual mortality and species vulnerability. Condor 116: 8–23. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Maldonado-Coelho M., Marini M.Â., Amaral F.R. & Ribon R. 2017. The invasive species rules: competitive exclusion in forest avian mixed-species flocks in a fragmented landscape. 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Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2018
Keywords: breeding biology; Dendrocolaptidae; nest box; suburban; urban adapter
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