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T. Schulenberg (2007)Birds of Peru
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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 49-52 SHORTCOMMUNICATION March 2014 First record of Merlin Falco columbarius from Tocantins and a review of previous Brazilian records 1,2,3 1 Túlio Dornas and Renato Torres Pinheiro Grupo de Pesquisa em Ecologia e Conservação de Aves da Universidade Federal do Tocantins – ECOAVES/UFT, Campus Universitário de Palmas, Palmas-Tocantins, Brazil. Programa de Doutorado Rede Bionorte da Amazônia Legal, Área de Concentração em Biodiversidade e Conservação, Colegiado Estadual do Pará, Belém, Pará, Brazil Corresponding author: email@example.com Received on 19 September 2013. Accepted on 22 December 2013. ABSTRACT: We describe the ﬁrst record of Falco columbarius from Tocantins, central Brazil, made in the contact zone between the Amazon and Cerrado biomes. A review of previous Brazilian records of this species is also presented, showing a previously unrecognized wintering area for this falcon in South America and that its status as a vagrant should be reconsidered. Falco columbarius seems a rare but regular winter visitor due to several records in Brazil over the last years. KEY WORDS: Brazil, Falco columbarius, Neartic migrant, Tocantins, South America. The Merlin Falco columbarius is a small boreal A further ten records of Merlins have been made in migrant falcon with a pan-Holarctic breeding range. Brazil (Table 1), most between October and December. The species winters at both temperate and tropical Here we present details of a new record of this species latitudes reaching, in the Southern Hemisphere, only from central Brazil. On 13 May 2011 a female-plumaged South America (White et al. 1994; Beaman & Madge F. columbarius was photographed in Wanderlândia 1998; Warkentin et al. 2005). Globally, there are nine municipality, northern Tocantins (06°44'S, 48°04'W) subspecies, six breeding in Europe and Asia (F. c aesalon, (Figure 1). Merlins are normally back on their breeding F. c. subaesalon, F. c. pallidus, F. c. insignis, F. c. lymani, grounds by April-May, thus this individual may be a and F. c. paciﬁcus) and wintering in North Africa and ﬁrst-summer male that decided to over-summer on its subtropical Asia (Beaman & Madge 1998) and southern wintering grounds or was returning north at an atypically China (White et al. 1994). Another three subspecies late date. The bird was perched atop a dead palm tree (sometimes considered a diﬀerent species, American (possibly a Macaúba Acrocomia aculeata) (Figure 1) and Merlin) breed in North America, F. c. columbarius, F. c. plucked a small passerine, probably a Thraupidae, it had richardsoni, and F. c. suckleyi; only the nominate migrates captured. to the tropics, reaching the Caribbean, Central America, This region lies along the contact zone of the and northern South America (Hilty & Brown 1986; Amazon and Cerrado biomes in a very disturbed area, White et al. 1994; Sick 1997; Warkentin et al. 2005; adjacent to a land-reform settlement and characterized Braun et al. 2007). by forest fragments between 10-100 ha (canopy heights In South America, there are relatively few records 20-30 m) within a matrix of cattle pasture. Our record of Merlins from a broad area over Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, from Tocantins was made over 900 km southeast from Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname (Hilty & the nearest previous record, from Santarém (Lees et al. Brown 1986; White et al. 1994; Sick 1997; Hilty 2003; 2013), and more than 2,500 km northeast from the Schulenberg et al. 2007). In Brazil F. columbarius is record at Xapuri (Mendizabel 2012). The records from considered rare (Sick 1997; Sigrist 2006) with the ﬁrst Tocantins and Xapuri represent the southernmost records record of an individual captured on the Dutch vessel still of Merlins anywhere (Figure 2a; White et al. 1994; at sea, in the Atlantic Ocean, near the coast of the state Beaman & Madge 1998). of Bahia (northeast of Brazil) in November 1963 (Sick Our record also reinforces the ﬁnding that Merlins 1997). This was assumed to belong to the European form routinely use human-modiﬁed landscapes (such as (Sick 1997). farmland) to forage both in the breeding and non-breeding First record of Merlin Falco columbarius from Tocantins and a review of previous Brazilian records Túlio Dornas and Renato Torres Pinheiro seasons (White et al. 1994). Canadian Merlins have been found to forage extensively around human settlements and prey disproportionately on House Sparrows Passer domesticus (Warkentin & Oliphant 1990), an introduced species also widely present in Brazil. Given the likely low abundance of this species at the southern edge of its wintering range in South America, low observer density, and possibility of confusion with other species, F. columbarius is likely under-recorded in Brazil. We suggest that the species status as ‘vagrant’ in Brazil should be reconsidered as it may simply be a rare but regular winter visitor (Figure 2b). The Tocantins record, in the anthropogenically inﬂuenced contact zone between Amazon and Cerrado, indicates that the winter range of this Nearctic falcon is even more southerly in latitude than previously expected. The success of prey capture in this contact region between biomes indicates that the species may have the capacity to extend its wintering area beyond the limits of the Amazon. Thus, we suspect that central portions of South America, like the Brazilian Cerrado and Pantanal or even northern Paraguay and parts of Bolivia (Figure FIGURE 1. Female F. columbarius found in Wanderlandia, Tocantins, 2b)—regions supported by the Xapuri record, may also central Brazil. The beheaded prey seems to be a Thraupidae. Photo: be within the wintering range of F. columbarius. Tulio Dornas. TABLE 1. Review of F. columbarius records in Brazil. If number of individuals not mentioned, number was not reported in reference. REFERENCE LOCATION DATE AGE/SEX COMMENTS Sick (1997) At sea, Bahia coast November 1963 not reported One individual, European subspecies Manaus, Immature One individual, on the banks of the Stotz et al. (1992) October 1990 Amazonas female Negro River near Manaus Pacheco & Carvalhães Jaú River, Amazon December 1993 not reported Mouth the Jaú and Amazon Rivers (1994) apud Sick (1997) Pacheco & Carvalhães Jaú River, Amazon January 1994 not reported Mouth the Jaú and Amazon Rivers (1994) apud Sick (1997) Savannas between Two individuals, border of Brazil and Santos & Silva (2007) Rupununi and March 2000 not reported Guyana (record by Robbins et al. 2004) Roraima, Savannas between One individual, border of Brazil and Santos & Silva (2007) Rupununi and November 2000 not reported Guyana (record by Robbins et al. 2004) Roraima, One individual, at the campus of the Lees et al. (2013) Santarém, Pará November 2011 not reported Federal University of Western Pará, mouth of the Tapajós with Amazon Rivers One individual, near of border with Mendizabel (2012) Xapuri, Acre January 2012 Male Bolivia Boa Vista, Luccia (2012) November 2012 Female? One individual, Municipal Park Caçari Roraima Municipality of One individual, Contact zone Amazon/ This paper Wanderlândia, May 2013 Female? Cerrado biomes Tocantins Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 2014 First record of Merlin Falco columbarius from Tocantins and a review of previous Brazilian records Túlio Dornas and Renato Torres Pinheiro FIGURE 2. A) Geographic distribution of F. columbarius (White et al. 1994). Black dots represent records of F. columbarius in Brazil. B) Details of F. columbarius records in Brazil: light green, Rupununi/Roraima savanna (Silva & Santos 2007); dark green, Boa Vista, Roraima (Luccia 2012); yellow, Jaú River (Pacheco & Carvalhaes 1994); orange, Manaus, Amazonas (Stotz et al. 1992); red, Santarém, Pará (Lees et al. 2013); and pink, Xapuri, Acre (Mendizabel 2012). The black triangle represents the record in Tocantins. The blue checkerboard pattern represents the extended wintering area based on our observation reported here. The green diagonal pattern indicates what we suspect to be the actual extension of the wintering grounds of this Neartic migrant. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 2014 First record of Merlin Falco columbarius from Tocantins and a review of previous Brazilian records Túlio Dornas and Renato Torres Pinheiro Mendizabal, S. I. 2012. [WA1060596, Falco columbarius Linnaeus, ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 1758]. http://www.wikiaves.com/1060596 (access on 1 Setember 2013). Thanks to Alexander C. Lees, Mario Cohn-Haft, and Pacheco, J. F. & Carvalhaes, A. M. P. 1994. Falco columbarius no Sidnei M. Dantas for helping on Merlin identiﬁcation. Parque Nacional do Jaú, Amazonas In: Resumos IV Congresso Thanks also the Alexander C. Lees for his great Brasileiro de Ornitologia. Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Coroa do Avião, Tapacurá, Pernambuco. contribution in revising this manuscript’s English. Thanks Robbins, M. B.; Braun M. J.; & Finch, D.W. 2004. Avifauna of the to Yanna Fernanda Coelho, Waniuelli Pascoal, and Larissa Guyana southern Rupununi, with comparisons to other savannas Vegas for ﬁeld work help and fellowship; and to the Santo of northern South America. Ornitologia Neotropical 15: 173-2000. Antônio farm owners for authorization to perform bird Santos, M. P. D. & Silva, J. M. C. 2007. As aves das savanas de Roraima. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 15: 189-207. surveys on their properties. We also thank the National Schulenberg, T. S.; Stotz, D. F.; Lane, D. F.; O’Neill, J. P.; & Parker Council for Scientiﬁc and Technological Development - III, T. A. 2007. Birds of Peru. Princeton: Princeton University CNPq for ﬁnancial support. This publication is part of Press. the Research Program for Biodiversity - PPBio, Eastern Sick, H. 1997. Ornitologia Brasileira. Edição revista e ampliada por J. Amazonia. F. Pacheco. Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira. Sigrist, T. 2006. Aves do Brasil: uma visão artística. São Paulo: Editora Fosfetil. Stotz, D. F.; Bierregaard, R. O.; Cohn-Haft, M.; Petermann, P.; REFERENCES Smith, J.; Whittaker, A. &; Wilson, S. V. 1992. The status of North American migrants in Central Amazonian Brazil. Condor, Beaman, M. & Madge, S. 1998. The handbook of bird identiﬁcation 94 : 608-621. for Europe and the Western Palearctic. London: Christopher Helm. Warkentin, I. G. & Oliphant, L. W. 1990. Habitat use and foraging Braun, M. J.; Finch, D. W.; Robbins, M. B.; & Schmidt, B. K. behaviour of urban merlins (Falco columbarius) in winter. Journal 2007. A Field Checklist of the Birds of Guyana, 2nd ed. Washington, of Zoology, 221: 539–563. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1990. D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. tb04018.x. Hilty, S. L & Brown, W. L. 1986. A guide to the birds of Colombia. Warkentin, I. G.; Sodhi, N. S.; Espie, R. H. M.; Poole, A. Princeton University Press. New Jersey: Princeton. F.; Oliphant, L. W.; & James, P. C. 2005. Merlin (Falco Hilty, S. L. 2003. Birds of Venezuela, 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton columbarius), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). University Press. Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology. http//bna.birds.cornell.edu/ Lees, A.C.; Moura, N.G.; Andretti, C.B.; Davis, B. J. W.; Lopes, bna/species/044. E.V.; Henriques, L. M. P.; Aleixo, A.; Barlow, J.; Ferreira, J.; White, C. M.; Olsen, P. D.; & Kiﬀ, L. F. 1994. Family Falconidae, & Gardner, T.A. 2013. One hundred and thirty-ﬁve years of p. 216-247 In: del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A.; & Sargatal, J. (eds.). avifaunal surveys around Santarém, central Brazilian Amazon. Handbook of the birds of the world, v. 2, New World vultures Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 21: 16-57. and guinaefowl. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. Luccia, V. P. 2012. [WA816864, Falco columbarius Linnaeus, 1758]. http://www.wikiaves.com/816864 (access on 21 August 2013). Associate Editor: Marcos Pérsio Dantas Santos Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 2014
Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2014
Keywords: Brazil; Falco columbarius; Neartic migrant; Tocantins; South America
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