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Status and distribution of the suborder Lari in Paraguay, including new country records

Status and distribution of the suborder Lari in Paraguay, including new country records Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 128 8 8–136. ARTICLE June 2017 Status and distribution of the suborder Lari in Paraguay, including new country records 1,4 1,2 3 Robert P. Clay , Arne J. Lesterhuis & Paul Smith Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, Rodríguez de Francia 869, Asunción, Paraguay. Guyra Paraguay, Av. Carlos Bóveda, Parque Ecológico Capital Verde, Asunción, Paraguay. FAUNA Paraguay, Encarnación, Dpto. Itapúa, Paraguay and Para La Tierra, Centro IDEAL, Mariscal Estigarribia 321 c/ Tte. Capurro, Pilar, Dpto. Ñeembucú, Paraguay. Corresponding author: robpclay@gmail.com Received on 04 April 2017. Accepted on 07 July 2017. ABSTRACT: Th e Lari of Paraguay are poorly known and only three species in two families occur regularly (Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex, Yellow-billed Tern Sternula superciliaris and Black Skimmer Rynchops niger r r). However, recent fi eld studies have revealed that diversity is much greater than previously thought, and several new species have been added to the country list in recent years. With many of these species being of only transient presence, the distribution and status of Paraguayan species is reviewed here including fi rst reports of four species (Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla, Franklin's Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica, and Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida) and one subspecies (Black Skimmer Rynchops niger cinerascens s s). The first South American record of the Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida is remarkable coming from a country in the center of the continent. Reports of three other species (Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus, Snowy-crowned Tern Sterna trudeaui and Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus s) are discussed and treated as hypothetical. Basic breeding data is provided for three species (Large-billed Tern, Yellow-billed Tern and Black Skimmer), showing that clutch sizes fall within clutch size ranges of other studies. KEY-WORDS: breeding biology, gull, Laridae, Rynchopidae, Black Skimmer, Sterninae, Tern, vagrant. INTRODUCTION METHODS The suborder Lari is comprised of the families Records of gulls and terns in Paraguay were compiled Laridae (including the subfamily Sterninae), from the published literature, museum specimens, on- Rynchopidae, Stercorariidae, Alcidae, Dromadidae line databases e.g. Worldbirds (http://www.worldbirds. and Glareolidae (Burger & Gochfeld 1996, Remsen- org) and eBird (http://www.ebird.org), the Guyra Jr. et al. 2017). Two of these families occur in Paraguay Biodiversity Database, the authors' own Paraguay, the Laridae and Rynchopidae (del Castillo field observations and throu gh consultations with & Clay 2004). Despite the presence of major river ornithologists and birdwatchers. Abbreviations used in systems and extensive wetlands in the country the text are: dept. – departamento (a geopolitical division (occupying about 40% of Paraguay, Clay et al. 2004) of Paraguay); RMNH – Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke just three representatives of these two families are Historia (Leiden, Netherlands); UMMZ – University common and widespread. of Michigan Museum of Zoology (Ann Arbor, USA). Félix de Azara (1805) was the first to report Nomenclature follows the South American Classification the presence of species of Lari in Paraguay. He Committee (Remsen-Jr. et al. 2017). reported two species of gull (“la cenicienta” and “la blanca”), various terns representing two species and Black Skimmer Rynchops niger (“el rayador”). It was RESULTS then over 180 years until the next new species was Species accounts documented as occurring in the country, the Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea (Hayes 1995). Much new data have become available since then and we here provide Rynchops niger: Black Skimmer is a common species a complete overview of the current state of knowledge along most of the major rivers throughout Paraguay, and of the species of Lari in Paraguay, including the first in associated wetland areas, including rice fi elds (at least occasionally). While the species is generally rare away from documentation of four species and one subspecies. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. the major rivers, it can be quite numerous when conditions among a flock of intercedens s on 26 October 2004. On are appropriate (i.e. abundant freshwater); for instance, 20 January 2005, one adult cinerascens s in non-breeding o o o 150 were observed at Laguna Lucero (22 33'S; 59 26'W) plumage was observed at the Bahía de Asunción (25 20'S; (within the Yacaré Sur watershed in the central Chaco) 57 35'W), Central dept. by R.P.C. and A.J.L. Since then, during flood conditions in July 2012 (R.P.C. & P.S.). This there have been occasional records of small numbers o o watershed, along with Estero Patiño (24 05'S; 59 55'W) in (usually one to three) cinerascens s with flocks of intercedens the Pilcomayo watershed, form the westernmost limits of at this same locality (R.P.C., A.J.L., Sergio Rios), with a the species' normal distribution in Paraguay, though there high count of at least 9 seen on 23 January 2015 with a are records from further west (e.g. 1 at Mariscal Estigarribia single intercedens. Th e fi rst Chaco record is of at least three o o o 22 02'S; 60 36'W, on 20 July 1990, by A. Madroño- amongst a flock of intercedens s at Chaco Lodge (22 32'S; o o Nieto, and 1 at Pozo Hondo 22 18'S; 62°31'W, on 13–15 59 18'W), Presidente Hayes dept. on 21 September 2015 November 2003, by E. Coconier). (R.P.C. & P.S.). During river surveys carried out between 14–15 and Using satellite telemetry, Davenport et alll. (2016) 26–27 October 2004 a total of 49 Black Skimmer nests documented an 1800 km southeast movement of a were found in 19 colonies along 675 km of the Paraguay cinerascens from a breeding site on the Manu River in o o River between Concepción (23 25'S; 57 17'W) and Paso Amazonian Peru, to the vicinity of Fuerte Olimpo, Alto o o de Patria (27 13'S; 58 35'W). The number of eggs per Paraguay dept., Paraguay, suggesting a potential origin for nest varied from 1 to 5, with a mean of 3.04 eggs (A.J.L.). birds recorded in Paraguay. On 30 September 2007, 10 nests were found in a mixed Chroicocephalus maculipennis: Bertoni (1919) colony situated in a sand dune on Isla Yacyretá (27 30'S; claimed the first recor d of the Brown-hooded Gull for 56 16'W), Itapúa dept. Here, clutch size varied from Paraguay, a now lost specimen that was collected by his 1 to 4 eggs and the mean was 3.2 eggs. Th ese data are brother Werner during July 1916 at Puerto Bertoni, Alto o o consistent with those from studies in the United States Paraná dept. (25 39'S; 54 36'W). Though there have and Brazil where clutch size also varied from 1–5 eggs been no further records of the species in the country, it (mean 2.70–3.55) (Erwin 1977, White et alll. 1984, King seems that Bertoni overlooked several previous reports. & Krynitsky 1986, Custer & Mitchell 1987, Krannitz Storer (1989) reported a fi rst-year female (UMMZ 1989 & Molina 1996). 1647a) collected by W. Foster at Sapucay (25 40'S; Most Paraguayan skimmers, including all birds that 56 55'W), Paraguarí dept. on 17 August 1901 (not 1907 have been reported breeding, belong to the subspecies as given in that publication). He also noted the existence intercedens Saunders, 1895. Th is subspecies has white of two further specimens collected in 1863, one breeding underwing coverts, a broad white border to the secondaries adult and a young bird beginning to acquire nuptial and innermost primaries, and greyish-white tail feathers plumage (Schlegel 1863) which Hayes (1995) suspected (apart from the dark central pair). However, in recent may have been collected outside of the boundaries of years, birds of the northern South American subspecies modern day Paraguay. A third specimen listed by Schlegel cinerascens s Spix, 1825 have also been recorded in the (1863) with “grey head” is an adult C. cirrocephalus s (F. country. Th is subspecies has darker, greyish underwing Mees, pers. comm. in Storer 1989). Schlegel treated coverts, a much narrower white border to the secondaries maculipennis s as a synonym of cirrocephalus. (barely apparent, and not extending onto the inner Additionally, and following Saunders (1806), we primaries), and the tail feathers are more uniformly sooty refer de Azara's (1805) description of “la blanca” to this grey (Wetmore 1944). species. There are two populations of C. maculipennis: In addition to describing adult and immature a “white-winged” form breeding on the Pacific coast o f plumages of intercedens, de Azara (1805) refers to “other southern South America, and a “spot-winged” population individuals…without white tips to those feathers (the on the Atlantic side of southern South America, north secondaries). Furthermore, the underside of these of Patagonia (Murphy 1936). De Azara's description is feathers and the coverts is dark” (translated from the inconsistent with C. cirrocephalus s (as noted by Hartlaub Spanish). Thou gh long overlooked, these would appear 1847) but closely fits “spot-win ged” C. maculipennis, to describe the first records of cinerascens s for Paraguay as which would seem the most likely population noted by Saunders (1806). In addition, Bertoni (1930) (geographically) to occur in Paraguay. He noted flocks noted “inconsistencies in the subspecific descri ptions” of up to 12 birds, in wet meadows with a lot of grass, which may also be a reference to birds of the subspecies rather than along rivers and lagoons. He described the cinerascens. birds thus: “Th e whole body is white with the wings ashy- Th e fi rst modern record of cinerascens s occurred white; but the fi rst two primaries are black with a white during waterbird monitoring along the Paraguay River shaft and sub-terminal spot. Th e next three primaries in October 2004; one individual was observed by A.J.L. have the tip and the inner web dark, and the outer web Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. white. Th e other primaries are similar, with a small white considered the species to be a rare austral migrant to tip.” (translated from Spanish). Paraguay. Contrary to the statement in Dwight (1925; The com plete absence of modern records of possibly the source of a similar statement in Harrison C. maculipennis is of great interest, and this may be 1985), there is no evidence of the species ever having bred attributable to the more coastal habitat preference of that in the country. species. However recent sight reports of the species close One of the three gull specimens collected at an to the Paraguayan border in Argentina at Laguna Yema unspecified locality (possibly outside of Para guay) in o o (24 15'S; 61 14'W), Formosa province (16 May 2013; N. 1863 is an adult C. cirrocephalus cirrocephalus s (Schlegel Oste, D. Almiron, J. Ubiría & C. Agulian); Puerto Iguazú 1863, Storer 1989, RMNH 46021). Other than this, the o o (25 36'S;  54 34'W), Misiones province (7 December first documented record undoubtedly within the current o o 2013; V. Sandage); and Laguna Iberá (28 32'S; 57 16'W), borders of Paraguay are two females collected by H.E. Corrientes province (1 September 2005; J. Ubiría) all Bender 120 km SE of Orloff, Presidente Hayes dept., suggest that future records are likely with increased fi eld on 1 September 1940 (Storer 1989; USNM 571,351 effort. Given the paucity of records currently available we and 571,352). Storer (1989) speculated that the specific consider the species a rare vagrant to Paraguay. locality for these specimens was the salt lake at Laguna o o Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus: Grey-headed Gull is Salada (22 34'S; 59 20'W). a relatively common species in southern South America, Ten birds reported from along the Paraguay River occurring along the Pacifi c coast of Ecuador and Peru, between 18 October and 4 November 1984 (López discontinuously along the Atlantic from north-east 1985) and a report lacking details from Misiones dept. Brazil south to Argentina, and inland along river systems (Contreras et alll. 1989) were treated as hypothetical by including the lower Paraná River (Burger & Gochfeld Hayes (1995) and del Castillo & Clay (2004), but are 1996, Lees et al. 2014). De Azara (1805) reported within the realms of possibility. that he had never seen “la cenicienta” (referring to C. Since 1990, there have been an additional 15 records, cirrocephalus s s) but had heard of a year in which they were 13 of which are published here for the first time (Table 1). very abundant, arriving from the south. Hayes (1995) Th ese include birds in both breeding (Fig. 1A) and non- Table 1. Recent records of Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus in Paraguay. No. Observer/ Date Plumage Locality (Latitude; Longitude) Department individuals Reference o o July 1990 2 Villeta (25 28'S; 57 36'W) Central J. Escobar 2 km north of Isla Umbú (27 00'S; Contreras et alll. January 1992 1 Ñeembucú 58 26'W) (2014) 5 November 1994 1 Asunción (Bahía de Asunción) Central J. Escobar 4 October 2004 2 Breeding Asunción (Bahía de Asunción) Central P.S. & R. McCann C. Morales, S. Centrón, H. 21 May 2005 1 Non-breeding Asunción (Bahía de Asunción) Central Cabral Beconi & R. Zarza o o 16 September 2005 3 Non-breeding Fuerte Olimpo (21 2'S; 57 52'W) Alto Paraguay J. Escobar o o 11 January 2009 1 Non-breeding Arroyo Aguapey (27 0"S; 56 17'W) Itapúa H. del Castillo o o 11 August 2009 1 Non-breeding Asunción (25 16'S; 57 40'W) Central R.P.C. Breeding (2); 13 September 2009 3 Asunción Central R.P.C. immature J. Escobar (largest 7 October 2009 16 Intermediate Arroyo Aguapey Itapúa reported flock) At least 2 in R.P.C., H. Swegen o o 11 October 2011 11 Brazo Aña Cua (27 22'S; 56 40'W) Itapúa breeding & B. Lorentzon Carmen del Paraná (27 15'S; 23 August 2012 2 Breeding Itapúa Roberto Derna 56 10'W) o o 26 March 2013 1 Breeding Laguna Blanca (23 44'S; 56 17'W W) San Pedro Smith et al. 2016 3 February 2016 1 Breeding Asunción Central R.P.C. Yacyretá hydroelectric dam (27 29'S; 13 November 2016 1 Breeding Itapúa R.P.C. 56 44'W) Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. C D Figure 1. ( ( (A A A) Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus, Carmen del Paraná, dept. Itapúa (Photo author: R. Derna); (B) Sterna paradisaea, Bahía de Asunción, dept. Central (Photo author: F. Hayes); (C) Sterna hirundo, Laguna Blanca, dept. San Pedro (Photo author: P. Smith); (D) Leucophaeus atricilla, Bahía de Asunción, dept. Central (Photo author: M. Coath); (E) Leucophaeus pipixcan, Laguna Sanidad, dept. Presidente Hayes (Photo author: A.J. Lesterhuis); (F) Gelochelidon nilotica, Laguna Capitan, dept. Presidente Hayes (Photo author: A.J. Lesterhuis); (G) Chlidonias hybrida, Estancia Graciela, dept. Misiones (Photo author: H. Faithfull). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. breeding plumage, as well as at least one immature. Th e nest varied from 2 to 3, with a mean of 2.6 eggs (A.J.L.). species seems to be a regular vagrant in Paraguay and may On 30 September 2007, one nest with 3 eggs was found be more numerous in some years than others. in a colony with Yellow-billed Terns and Black Skimmers Sternula superciliaris: Yellow-billed Tern is fairly on a sand dune on Isla Yacyretá, Itapúa dept. Krannitz common along the major rivers in Paraguay but is rather (1989) reported a mean clutch size of 2.3 from Brazil, rare away from them. Th e farthest west the species based on 121 nests. has been recorded is on the lagoons of the Yacaré Sur Sterna paradisaea: Hayes et alll. (1990) recorded o o watershed (22 33'S; 59 23'W) in the central Chaco, and the Arctic Tern at the Bahía de Asunción, Central dept. the Estero Patiño wetlands associated with the Pilcomayo on the 9 and 10 May 1989. Photos were deposited in River (R.P.C., A.J.L., H. del Castillo). Yellow-billed Tern VIREO and one is published here (Fig. 1B) for the first nests in colonies with both Large-billed Tern Phaetusa time. This record was the first of the species in the interior simplex x and Black Skimmer along the Paraguay River and of South America. the lower reaches of the Paraná River (from the Yacyretá Sterna hirundo: a winter adult Common Tern dam to the confluence with the Para guay River). Colonies was photographed (Fig. 1C) and filmed on 17 and 18 are located on sand banks and sandy beaches of islands, September 2006 at Laguna Blanca, San Pedro dept. by with breeding activity from August to December. During P.S., and was also observed by H. del Castillo, Richard river surveys carried out between 14–15 and 26–27 Smith and Kirti Chaudhurri (Smith & del Castillo October 2004, a total of 155 Yellow-billed Tern nests 2006, Smith et al. 2016). It was identifi ed based on the were found in 19 colonies along 675 km of the Paraguay dark carpal bar, dark primaries, short tail, long black o o River between Concepción (23 25'S; 57 00'W) and Paso bill and fl attened head. Th is represents the fi rst record o o de Patria (27 15'S; 58 33'W). Th e number of eggs per of Common Tern for Paraguay. Previous reports of the nest varied from 1 to 4, with a mean of 2.02 eggs (A.J.L.). species in Paraguay (CDC 1995, 1997) are in error On 30 September 2007, 13 nests were found in a mixed and refer to the fi rst Paraguayan record of Arctic Tern colony situated in a sand dune on Isla Yacyretá, Itapúa which was initially misidentified as a Common Tern o o dept. (27 25'S; 56 49'W). Here the number of eggs (del Castillo & Clay 2004). Common Tern has been varied from 1 to 3 and the mean was 2.7 eggs (A.J.L.). reported from several inland localities in Argentina to the Krannitz (1989) reported a mean clutch size of 1.94 eggs south of Paraguay (Mark Pearman, pers. comm.) and its and a range 1–3 eggs for 16 nests in Brazil. occurrence in Paraguay as a vagrant or irregular passage Phaetusa simplex: Large-billed Tern is a common migrant is unsurprising. species along the major rivers and in associated wetlands, Leucophaeus atricilla: Laughing Gull breeds in the including (and perhaps increasingly) rice fi elds. Th e eastern United States and the Caribbean and winters in highest count is of 848 birds going to roost on the 4 Central and South America (Burger & Gochfeld 1996). November 2016 seen from Parque Solidaridad (25 16'S; In South America it occurs along the Pacific coast as far 57 39'W, on the banks of the Paraguay River) by R.P.C. south as northern Chile, and along the Atlantic coast Thou gh generally uncommon away from major rivers, to northeastern Brazil, occasionally as far south as Rio it can become quite numerous when conditions are Grande do Sul (Burger 1996) and may be expanding appropriate (i.e. abundant freshwater). For instance, the its non-breeding distribution (Lima et alll. 2010). It is species is periodically abundant at the saline lagoons of considered primarily a coastal species and is only rarely the Yacaré Sur watershed in the central Chaco, e.g. 300– observed inland (Lima et alll. 2010). 500 birds at various lagoons in July 2012 (R.P.C. & P.S.) On 2 February 2011, R.P.C., A.J.L. and Melanie & which coincided with extensive fresh and brackish water Dominic Coath observed a gull in a large fl ock of Large- fl ooding in the watershed. Th e Yacaré Sur watershed billed Terns in the Bahía de Asunción (Fig. 1D). Th e bird and the Estero Patiño wetlands of the Pilcomayo River was identified as a first-year Lau ghing Gull based on its watershed (both Presidente Hayes dept.) form the western relatively long bill, fl attened forehead and elongated body, limit of the normal range of the species in Paraguay. combined with grey wash on flanks and hind-neck, and Large-billed Tern breeds in mixed colonies with mottled underwing, which distinguish the species from Yellow-billed Tern and Black Skimmer on sand banks similar plumages of Franklin's Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan and sandy beaches of islands. Although a common bird (Sibley 2000). (del Castillo & Clay (2004), to date only small breeding Th is represents the fi rst record of the species for colonies have been found of this species. During a river the country, and one of the southernmost records in survey on 26 and 27 October 2004 a total of five Lar ge- South America. There is an undocumented re port of a o o billed Tern nests were found in fi ve mixed colonies along bird captured at Lagoa do Peixe (31 14'S; 50 57'W), 300 km of the Paraguay River between Concepción and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in July 1985 (Sick 1993), o o Asunción (25 15'S; 57 37'W). The number of eggs per but it was treated as requiring documentation by Bencke Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. Castillo, H. Cabral, S. Centrón, F. Fragano and L. López. (2001). Records of the species inland in South America Presumably the same bird was seen again, albeit distantly, are rare; previously published reports include three in on 4 July (R.P .C.). F. Fragano documented the record with Amazonas state, Brazil (Lima et al. 2010), one in western a distant photograph. Th e bird was easily identifi ed by the Amazonian Peru (O'Donnel & González 2003) and a stocky, black gull-like bill, all pale crown, and smudgy handful of records from the western Amazon and Andes blackish-patch on the ear-coverts. Th e upperparts, in Ecuador (Santander et alll. 2011, Henry 2012). including the long wings, rump and tail, were very pale Leucophaeus pipixcan: Franklin's Gull breeds in pearly-grey, and the tail was only shallowly forked. A bird Canada and the United States, and winters along the in full breeding plumage was photographed by A.J.L. at Pacific coast of South America to southern Chile, o o Laguna Capitán (22 33'S; 59 42'W), Presidente Hayes also occurring in small numbers in Argentina from dept. on 25 October 2014 (Fig. 1F). Córdoba to Chubut provinces, and rarely to Tierra del These are the first documented records of the Gull - Fuego (Burger & Gochfeld 1996). In  Bolivia  it has billed Tern in Paraguay. Th e species had been previously been reported from  La Paz,  Cochabamba  and Potosí listed for Paraguay without details (CDC 1995, 1997). We depts.  (Hennessey  et al.  2003)  and vagrants have consider the species a rare vagrant in Paraguay. Paraguayan reached  Venezuela (Hilty 2003), French Guiana, both records presumably refer to the southern South American coastal and inland  Brazil  (Farias 2016), and Uruguay population of gronvoldi: the three records reported here were (Abreu 2015). of birds in the plumage expected for individuals from an On  17 June 2004, A.J.L. photographed a dark- austral breeding population, with non-breeding plumaged headed gull at Laguna Sanidad, Estero Patiño, Presidente birds being recorded in the austral winter and a breeding Hayes dept. (Fig. 1E) that was also observed by H. del plumaged bird during the austral spring (when northern Castillo, M. de Bernard and M. Montiel. Th e bird was birds would be expected to show the opposite plumages). identified as a Franklin's Gull due to its blackish hood , Chlidonias hybrida: Whiskered Tern has migratory prominent white eye crescents, dark grey upperwing and populations that breed in southern Europe to central Asia, plain white underwings (Sibley 2000). Th e solid black and in east Asia (wintering in northern and central Africa wing tips, with some brown remaining on the secondaries and southern Asia), with resident populations found in and tertials indicated that the gull was in fi rst  summer southern Africa, southern Asia and Australia (Gochfeld plumage (Burger & Gochfeld 1996). This represents the et alll. 2016b). Occasional transatlantic vagrancy has fi rst record of the species for Paraguay. been recorded, e.g. to Iceland, Azores, USA (Gochfeld On 11 July 2007, a probable Franklin's Gull et al. 2016b) and vagrants have also been reported for was observed by A.J.L. and S. Centrón at Campo o o Micronesia (Hayes et alll. 2016). María (22 34'S; 59 20'W) Presidente Hayes dept. The A breeding plumage adult Whiskered Tern was individual had an all black hood and in flight showed observed and photographed at Estancia La Graciela, darkish grey upperwings with a white subterminal band. o o Misiones dept. (26 34'24"S; 56 51'42"W) on 14 January Unfortunately, the bird was seen only briefl y before fl ying 2016 by R.P.C., Holly Faithfull and Lloyd Stetson (Fig. off. We consider this species a rare va grant to Paraguay, 1G). Th e bird had the typical structure of a “marsh tern” though one which seems likely to occur again given Chlidonias s sp. with broad-based wings that appeared that it winters in southern South American and its well- shorter and more round-tipped than Sterna a terns, and a documented tendency to wander. short tail with a shallow fork. Its plumage was uniformly Gelochelidon nilotica: Gull-billed Tern breeds in mid-grey across the wings, mantle, rump, and tail; whilst southern Europe, northern Africa, central and east Asia, blackish underparts contrasting markedly with the white the southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and cheek and undertail-coverts, and with the pale underwing. South America (Gochfeld et alll. 2016a). Within the The fora ging action was also classic marsh tern: dipping Americas, at least three subspecies breed, with North down to the water to surface-pick. American breeding birds wintering as far south as This re presents the first record of Whiskered Tern Brazil and Peru (Gochfeld et alll. 2016a). The subspecies for Paraguay and for South America, and one of very few gronvoldi i has a disparate breeding distribution centered records in the Americas. Previous records in the Americas on the coast of the Guianan shield and southern coastal are limited to three records from Cape May, New Jersey, Brazil and the lower Paraná and Plata River Basins, where USA (in July 1993, August 1998 and September 2014), it is believed to be resident (Gochfeld et alll. 2016a). one record from Delaware Bay, Delaware, USA in July/ On 25 July 1999, H. del Castillo observed an adult August 1993 (assumed to be the same as the first Cape Gull-billed Tern in non-breeding plumage at Laguna May bird), three records from Barbados and a single Sanidad, Estero Patiño, Presidente Hayes dept. On 3 record from Great Inagua, Bahamas (Howell et alll. 2014, July 2005, another non-breeding adult was found at the New Jersey Audubon 2014). same locality by R.P.C., and seen later that day by H. del Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. lacks any collection data. Schlegel (1863) states that the Sterna trudeaui: Th e only reports of Snowy-crowned specimen was “acquired from Mr Pardzudacky in 1862”. Tern in Paraguay are those of Contreras & Contreras De Azara's (1805) “la mayor” was attributed to this species (1992), who recorded one at Itá Enramada (25 37'S; by Hartlaub (1847), but de Azara specifi cally stated that 57 30'W), Central dept., on 7 May 1989; one at Puerto o o the species does not occur in Paraguay. The Kelp Gull is Nuevo de Pilar (26 52'S; 58 23'W), Ñeembucú dept. widely distributed in the southern hemisphere breeding in on 10 January 1992; and at least 10 (1 in the morning, South America (Burger & Gochfeld 1996) and although 10 in the afternoon) between Puerto Naranjito and Pilar o o nowadays expanding into continental ecosystems (26 56'S; 58 27'W), Ñeembucú dept. on 17 September (including freshwater lagoons) in northern Patagonia 1992. Hayes (1995) treated these records as hypothetical/ (Frixione et alll. 2012) we treat this historical record as possible because of the lack of description provided, and hypothetical in Paraguay and consider the provenance of del Castillo & Clay (2004) listed the species as requiring the specimen to be likely an error. documentation. Both Large-billed Tern and Yellow-billed Tern can show plumages superficially similar to that of DISCUSSION Snowy-crowned, and a recent record of the very similar Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri i in Mar Chiquita Th ough it is a landlocked country, several mayor rivers Lagoon, Argentina (http://ebird.org/ebird/argentina/view/ that bisect Paraguay connect it to important South checklist/S15984614) underlines the need for caution American wetlands and ultimately to the Atlantic Ocean in evaluating undocumented extralimital records of this coast. Large river systems like the Paraguay, Paraná species. Nonetheless, the species is of probable occurrence and Pilcomayo Rivers are likely the main source of as a vagrant in Paraguay, and has been recorded at several the wandering species of the suborder Lari recorded in Argentinian localities close to the Paraguayan border. Paraguay to date. These include (in addition to those listed b y Contreras & Of the 10 species documented to date, fi ve species Contreras 1992) a record 109 km from the Paraguayan are terns, four are gulls and the other is the Black Skimmer. border at Laguna Iberá, Corrientes province (10 May Of the species considered pending documentation, 2009; F. Schmitt & R. Barros McIntosh, eBird); 63 km the Snowy-crowned Tern would seem the most likely away at Laguna de Gramado, Misiones province; 77 km be subsequently documented in Paraguay given the away at La Escondida, Chaco province (A. Bodrati, pers. proximity of recent records in northern Argentina. comm.); and 77 km away at Reserva El Bagual, Formosa Th e increased number of reports of gulls and terns province (Di Giacomo 2005). The latter locality is just 99 in Paraguay is likely a result of an increasing interest in km from Pilar, one of the localities reported by Contreras waterbirds and birding in general in Paraguay. Since 2001 & Contreras (1992). the Neotropical Waterbird Census, a waterbird monitoring Th alasseus maximus: Th e only report of Royal Tern program implemented by a network of volunteers twice a in Paraguay is that of Contreras (1992), who observed year, has attracted an increasing number of participants. one individual at Pilar, Ñeembucú dept. on 10 September Furthermore, more local people are becoming involved 1992. Unfortunately, Contreras (1992) provides only a in birding at a time when ecotourism is beginning to brief description of the bird, stating that it was in non- attract considerable national and international attention. breeding plumage with the crown greyish-white. Hayes It would seem that additional records of interest may be (1995) treated the occurrence of the species in Paraguay expected in the near future, perhaps even including new as hypothetical/possible, while del Castillo & Clay (2004) records of the long absent Brown-hooded Gull. considered it as requiring documentation. Esteban (1953) reports a previous specimen record of a female (6662) in the Miguel Lillo Collection, Tucumán ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS from Isla Apipé Grande, Corrientes, Argentina, taken on 24 October 1950 which is geographically close to the Fieldwork at Laguna Sanidad was part of projects under- Contreras (1992) record and immediately adjacent to the taken by the Asociación Guyra Paraguay y and supported Paraguayan border. However, given the propensity for the by USFWS-NMBCA. P.S. records were obtained during extralimital occurrence of terns and the fact that there FAUNA Paraguay birding tours, and all participants are potential confusion species which are not excluded by in them are thanked for their support. Brad Andres, the description provided, it seems best to maintain the Daniel Blanco, German Pugnali and Martin Reid all Contreras (1992) record as pending documentation. helped confirm the identity of the Franklin's Gull. Mark Larus dominicanus: A specimen (RMNH. Pearmann provided information on records in Argentina. AVES.46019) of the Kelp Gull with locality “Paraguay” Steven van der Mije of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, Holland) Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. Custer T.W. & Mitchell C.A. 1987. Organochlorine contaminants for providing details of specimens in their collection. and reproductive success of Black Skimmers in south Texas, 1984. Th e authors also want to thanks J. Escobar, C. Morales, Journal of Field Ornithology y 58: 480–489. S. Centrón, H. Cabral Beconi and R. Zarza for sharing Davenport L.C., Goodenough K.S. & Haugaasen T. 2016. Birds of two oceans? Trans-Andean and divergent migration of Black their observations of the Grey-headed Gull. Roberto Skimmers (Rynchops niger cinerascens s s) from the Peruvian Amazon. Derna kindly provided his photograph of Grey-headed PLoS ONE E 11: e0144994. Gull, M. Coath for providing the photograph of the Di Giacomo A.G. & Krapovickas S.F. (eds.). 2005. Historia Natural Laughing Gull, Floyd Hayes for the permission to use the y paisaje de la Reserva El Bagual, provincia de Formosa, Argentina. Monografía de Aves Argentinas No. 4: 121–152. Arctic Tern photograph and H. Faithfull for providing Dwight J. 1925. The gulls (Laridae) of the world; their plumages, the photograph of the Whiskered Tern. P.S. is grateful moults, variations, relationships and distribution. Bulletin of the for the support received from the PRONII program of American Museum of Natural History y 52: 63–408. CONACYT Paraguay. Erwin R.M. 1977. Black Skimmer breeding ecology and behavior. Auk k 94: 709–717. Esteban J.G. 1953. Nuevas localidades para aves argentinas. Acta Zoológica Lilloana a 13: 249–265. REFERENCES Farias F.B. 2016. Primeiro registro de Alegrinho-trinador (Serpophaga griseicapilla) e Gaivota-de-Franklin (Leucophaeus pipixcan) em Abreu M. 2015. 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Lista preliminar Hennessey A.B., Herzog S.K. & Sagot F. 2003. Lista anotada de las aves de vertebrados del Paraguay: revisión y actualización. Asunción: de Bolivia. Quinta edición. Santa Cruz de la Sierra: Asociación DPNVS/SSERNMA/MAG. Armonia/BirdLife International. Clay R.P., Lesterhuis A.J. & López L. 2004. Aves de los humedales Henry P.-Y. 2012. Distributional and altitudinal range extensions del Paraguay, p. 175–190 In: Salas-Dueñas D.A., Mereles F. & for birds from Ecuador. Boletín de la Sociedad Antioqueña de Yanosky A. (eds.). Los humedales del Paraguay. Asunción: Comité Ornitología 20: 89–106. Nacional de Humedales. Hilty S.L. 2003. Birds of Venezuela. New Jersey: Princeton University Contreras J.R. 1992. Notas ornitológicas paraguayas I. Sterna maxima Press. maxima a (Boddaert, 1783) y Anthracothorax nigricollis nigricollis Howell S.N.G., Lewington I. & Russell W. 2014. Rare birds of North (Vieillot, 1817). Nótulas Faunísticas s 28: 1–4. America. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Contreras J.R., Agnolin F., Davies Y.E., Godoy I., Giacchino A. & King K.A. & Krynitsky A.J. 1986. Population trends, reproductive Ríos E. 2014. Atlas ornitogeográfi co de la provincia de Formosa, success, and organochlorine chemical contaminants in waterbirds República Argentina 1: no Passeriformes. Buenos Aires: Fundación nesting in Galveston Bay, Texas. Archives of Environmental de Historia Natural Félix de Azara. Contamination and Toxicology y 15: 367–376. Contreras J.R. & Contreras A.O. 1992. Notas ornitológicas paraguayas Krannitz P.G. 1989. Nesting biology of Black Skimmers, Large-billed III. Sterna trudeaui i Audubon, 1838, una especie nueva para el Terns, and Yellow-Billed Terns in Amazonian Brazil. Journal of Paraguay y nuevos datos sobre otras tres. Nótulas Faunísticas s 31: 1–3. Field Ornithology y 60: 216–223 Contreras A.O., Vitale C., Davies Y.E. & Ramírez J.L. 1989. La Lees A.C., Thommpson I. & Moura N.G. 2014. Sal gado Paraense: avifauna del Departamento de Misiones, República del Paraguay. an inventory of a forgotten coastal Amazonian avifauna. Boletim Nota preliminar acerca de la zona comprendida entre Santiago do Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi. Ciências Naturais s 9: 135–168. y Ayolas, p. 11–12 In: Gómez A. (ed.). II Encuentro Paraguayo- Lima L.M., Schunck F., Siciliano S., Carlos C.J., Rennó B., Argentino de Ornitología. Asunción: Imprenta Graphis. Fonseca-Neto F.P., Fedrizzi C.E., Albano C. & Moura J.F. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. Saunders H. 1806. Catalogue of the Gaviae and Tubinares in the 2010. Distribuição, abundância e sazonalidade de Leucophaeus Collection of the British Museum. London: British Museum of atricilla (Charadriiformes: Laridae) no Brasil. Revista Brasileira de Natural History. Ornitologia a 18: 199–206. Schlegel H. 1863. Lari. Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle des Pays-Bas s 6: López N. 1985. Avifauna del departamento de Alto Paraguay. Volante 1–52. Migratorio 4: 9–13. Sibley D.A. 2000. The Sibley guide to bird s. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Molina K.C. 1996. Population status and breeding biology of Black Sick H. 1993. Birds in Brazilll. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Skimmers at the Salton Sea, California. Western Birds s 27: 143– Smith P. & del Castillo H. 2006. Common Tern Sterna hirundo: a new species for Paraguay. Bellbird d 1: 35–37. Murphy R.C. 1936. Oceanic birds of South America. New York: Smith P., del Castillo H. & Guest K. 2016. Birds of Reserva Natural Macmillan. Laguna Blanca, departamento San Pedro, Paraguay and the New Jersey Audubon. 2014. View from the Cape: Whiskered imminent threats to their conservation. Revista de Biodiversidad Tern. https://cmboviewfromthecape.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/ Neotropical 6: 55–67. whiskered-tern.html Storer R.W. 1989. Notes on Paraguayan birds. Occasional Papers of the O'Donnel P. & González O. 2003. First documented record of Museum of Zoology, the University of Michigan 719: 1–21. Laughing Gull (Larus atricilla) in dpto. Madre de Dios, Peru. Wetmore A. 1944. Th e subspecifi c characters and distribution of Cotinga a 20: 104. the New World skimmers (Rynchops nigra). Caldasia 3: 111– Remsen-Jr. J.V., Cadena C.D., Jaramillo A., Nores M., Pacheco J.F., Pérez-Emán J., Robbins M.B., Stiles F.G., Stotz D.F. & Zimmer K.J. 2017. A classifi cation of the bird species of South America. White D.H., Mitchell C.A. & Swineford D.M. 1984. Reproductive American Ornithologists' Union.  success of Black Skimmers in Texas relative to environmental pollutants. Journal of Field Ornithology y 55: 18–30. Santander T., Terán K., Mueces T., Lara A., Llumiquinga C. & Guevara E.A. 2011. Registros inusuales de aves costeras en lagunas altoandinas de Ecuador. Cotinga a 33: 105–107. Associate Editor: Luis F. Silveira. 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Status and distribution of the suborder Lari in Paraguay, including new country records

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Abstract

Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 128 8 8–136. ARTICLE June 2017 Status and distribution of the suborder Lari in Paraguay, including new country records 1,4 1,2 3 Robert P. Clay , Arne J. Lesterhuis & Paul Smith Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, Rodríguez de Francia 869, Asunción, Paraguay. Guyra Paraguay, Av. Carlos Bóveda, Parque Ecológico Capital Verde, Asunción, Paraguay. FAUNA Paraguay, Encarnación, Dpto. Itapúa, Paraguay and Para La Tierra, Centro IDEAL, Mariscal Estigarribia 321 c/ Tte. Capurro, Pilar, Dpto. Ñeembucú, Paraguay. Corresponding author: robpclay@gmail.com Received on 04 April 2017. Accepted on 07 July 2017. ABSTRACT: Th e Lari of Paraguay are poorly known and only three species in two families occur regularly (Large-billed Tern Phaetusa simplex, Yellow-billed Tern Sternula superciliaris and Black Skimmer Rynchops niger r r). However, recent fi eld studies have revealed that diversity is much greater than previously thought, and several new species have been added to the country list in recent years. With many of these species being of only transient presence, the distribution and status of Paraguayan species is reviewed here including fi rst reports of four species (Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla, Franklin's Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica, and Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida) and one subspecies (Black Skimmer Rynchops niger cinerascens s s). The first South American record of the Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida is remarkable coming from a country in the center of the continent. Reports of three other species (Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus, Snowy-crowned Tern Sterna trudeaui and Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus s) are discussed and treated as hypothetical. Basic breeding data is provided for three species (Large-billed Tern, Yellow-billed Tern and Black Skimmer), showing that clutch sizes fall within clutch size ranges of other studies. KEY-WORDS: breeding biology, gull, Laridae, Rynchopidae, Black Skimmer, Sterninae, Tern, vagrant. INTRODUCTION METHODS The suborder Lari is comprised of the families Records of gulls and terns in Paraguay were compiled Laridae (including the subfamily Sterninae), from the published literature, museum specimens, on- Rynchopidae, Stercorariidae, Alcidae, Dromadidae line databases e.g. Worldbirds (http://www.worldbirds. and Glareolidae (Burger & Gochfeld 1996, Remsen- org) and eBird (http://www.ebird.org), the Guyra Jr. et al. 2017). Two of these families occur in Paraguay Biodiversity Database, the authors' own Paraguay, the Laridae and Rynchopidae (del Castillo field observations and throu gh consultations with & Clay 2004). Despite the presence of major river ornithologists and birdwatchers. Abbreviations used in systems and extensive wetlands in the country the text are: dept. – departamento (a geopolitical division (occupying about 40% of Paraguay, Clay et al. 2004) of Paraguay); RMNH – Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke just three representatives of these two families are Historia (Leiden, Netherlands); UMMZ – University common and widespread. of Michigan Museum of Zoology (Ann Arbor, USA). Félix de Azara (1805) was the first to report Nomenclature follows the South American Classification the presence of species of Lari in Paraguay. He Committee (Remsen-Jr. et al. 2017). reported two species of gull (“la cenicienta” and “la blanca”), various terns representing two species and Black Skimmer Rynchops niger (“el rayador”). It was RESULTS then over 180 years until the next new species was Species accounts documented as occurring in the country, the Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea (Hayes 1995). Much new data have become available since then and we here provide Rynchops niger: Black Skimmer is a common species a complete overview of the current state of knowledge along most of the major rivers throughout Paraguay, and of the species of Lari in Paraguay, including the first in associated wetland areas, including rice fi elds (at least occasionally). While the species is generally rare away from documentation of four species and one subspecies. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. the major rivers, it can be quite numerous when conditions among a flock of intercedens s on 26 October 2004. On are appropriate (i.e. abundant freshwater); for instance, 20 January 2005, one adult cinerascens s in non-breeding o o o 150 were observed at Laguna Lucero (22 33'S; 59 26'W) plumage was observed at the Bahía de Asunción (25 20'S; (within the Yacaré Sur watershed in the central Chaco) 57 35'W), Central dept. by R.P.C. and A.J.L. Since then, during flood conditions in July 2012 (R.P.C. & P.S.). This there have been occasional records of small numbers o o watershed, along with Estero Patiño (24 05'S; 59 55'W) in (usually one to three) cinerascens s with flocks of intercedens the Pilcomayo watershed, form the westernmost limits of at this same locality (R.P.C., A.J.L., Sergio Rios), with a the species' normal distribution in Paraguay, though there high count of at least 9 seen on 23 January 2015 with a are records from further west (e.g. 1 at Mariscal Estigarribia single intercedens. Th e fi rst Chaco record is of at least three o o o 22 02'S; 60 36'W, on 20 July 1990, by A. Madroño- amongst a flock of intercedens s at Chaco Lodge (22 32'S; o o Nieto, and 1 at Pozo Hondo 22 18'S; 62°31'W, on 13–15 59 18'W), Presidente Hayes dept. on 21 September 2015 November 2003, by E. Coconier). (R.P.C. & P.S.). During river surveys carried out between 14–15 and Using satellite telemetry, Davenport et alll. (2016) 26–27 October 2004 a total of 49 Black Skimmer nests documented an 1800 km southeast movement of a were found in 19 colonies along 675 km of the Paraguay cinerascens from a breeding site on the Manu River in o o River between Concepción (23 25'S; 57 17'W) and Paso Amazonian Peru, to the vicinity of Fuerte Olimpo, Alto o o de Patria (27 13'S; 58 35'W). The number of eggs per Paraguay dept., Paraguay, suggesting a potential origin for nest varied from 1 to 5, with a mean of 3.04 eggs (A.J.L.). birds recorded in Paraguay. On 30 September 2007, 10 nests were found in a mixed Chroicocephalus maculipennis: Bertoni (1919) colony situated in a sand dune on Isla Yacyretá (27 30'S; claimed the first recor d of the Brown-hooded Gull for 56 16'W), Itapúa dept. Here, clutch size varied from Paraguay, a now lost specimen that was collected by his 1 to 4 eggs and the mean was 3.2 eggs. Th ese data are brother Werner during July 1916 at Puerto Bertoni, Alto o o consistent with those from studies in the United States Paraná dept. (25 39'S; 54 36'W). Though there have and Brazil where clutch size also varied from 1–5 eggs been no further records of the species in the country, it (mean 2.70–3.55) (Erwin 1977, White et alll. 1984, King seems that Bertoni overlooked several previous reports. & Krynitsky 1986, Custer & Mitchell 1987, Krannitz Storer (1989) reported a fi rst-year female (UMMZ 1989 & Molina 1996). 1647a) collected by W. Foster at Sapucay (25 40'S; Most Paraguayan skimmers, including all birds that 56 55'W), Paraguarí dept. on 17 August 1901 (not 1907 have been reported breeding, belong to the subspecies as given in that publication). He also noted the existence intercedens Saunders, 1895. Th is subspecies has white of two further specimens collected in 1863, one breeding underwing coverts, a broad white border to the secondaries adult and a young bird beginning to acquire nuptial and innermost primaries, and greyish-white tail feathers plumage (Schlegel 1863) which Hayes (1995) suspected (apart from the dark central pair). However, in recent may have been collected outside of the boundaries of years, birds of the northern South American subspecies modern day Paraguay. A third specimen listed by Schlegel cinerascens s Spix, 1825 have also been recorded in the (1863) with “grey head” is an adult C. cirrocephalus s (F. country. Th is subspecies has darker, greyish underwing Mees, pers. comm. in Storer 1989). Schlegel treated coverts, a much narrower white border to the secondaries maculipennis s as a synonym of cirrocephalus. (barely apparent, and not extending onto the inner Additionally, and following Saunders (1806), we primaries), and the tail feathers are more uniformly sooty refer de Azara's (1805) description of “la blanca” to this grey (Wetmore 1944). species. There are two populations of C. maculipennis: In addition to describing adult and immature a “white-winged” form breeding on the Pacific coast o f plumages of intercedens, de Azara (1805) refers to “other southern South America, and a “spot-winged” population individuals…without white tips to those feathers (the on the Atlantic side of southern South America, north secondaries). Furthermore, the underside of these of Patagonia (Murphy 1936). De Azara's description is feathers and the coverts is dark” (translated from the inconsistent with C. cirrocephalus s (as noted by Hartlaub Spanish). Thou gh long overlooked, these would appear 1847) but closely fits “spot-win ged” C. maculipennis, to describe the first records of cinerascens s for Paraguay as which would seem the most likely population noted by Saunders (1806). In addition, Bertoni (1930) (geographically) to occur in Paraguay. He noted flocks noted “inconsistencies in the subspecific descri ptions” of up to 12 birds, in wet meadows with a lot of grass, which may also be a reference to birds of the subspecies rather than along rivers and lagoons. He described the cinerascens. birds thus: “Th e whole body is white with the wings ashy- Th e fi rst modern record of cinerascens s occurred white; but the fi rst two primaries are black with a white during waterbird monitoring along the Paraguay River shaft and sub-terminal spot. Th e next three primaries in October 2004; one individual was observed by A.J.L. have the tip and the inner web dark, and the outer web Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. white. Th e other primaries are similar, with a small white considered the species to be a rare austral migrant to tip.” (translated from Spanish). Paraguay. Contrary to the statement in Dwight (1925; The com plete absence of modern records of possibly the source of a similar statement in Harrison C. maculipennis is of great interest, and this may be 1985), there is no evidence of the species ever having bred attributable to the more coastal habitat preference of that in the country. species. However recent sight reports of the species close One of the three gull specimens collected at an to the Paraguayan border in Argentina at Laguna Yema unspecified locality (possibly outside of Para guay) in o o (24 15'S; 61 14'W), Formosa province (16 May 2013; N. 1863 is an adult C. cirrocephalus cirrocephalus s (Schlegel Oste, D. Almiron, J. Ubiría & C. Agulian); Puerto Iguazú 1863, Storer 1989, RMNH 46021). Other than this, the o o (25 36'S;  54 34'W), Misiones province (7 December first documented record undoubtedly within the current o o 2013; V. Sandage); and Laguna Iberá (28 32'S; 57 16'W), borders of Paraguay are two females collected by H.E. Corrientes province (1 September 2005; J. Ubiría) all Bender 120 km SE of Orloff, Presidente Hayes dept., suggest that future records are likely with increased fi eld on 1 September 1940 (Storer 1989; USNM 571,351 effort. Given the paucity of records currently available we and 571,352). Storer (1989) speculated that the specific consider the species a rare vagrant to Paraguay. locality for these specimens was the salt lake at Laguna o o Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus: Grey-headed Gull is Salada (22 34'S; 59 20'W). a relatively common species in southern South America, Ten birds reported from along the Paraguay River occurring along the Pacifi c coast of Ecuador and Peru, between 18 October and 4 November 1984 (López discontinuously along the Atlantic from north-east 1985) and a report lacking details from Misiones dept. Brazil south to Argentina, and inland along river systems (Contreras et alll. 1989) were treated as hypothetical by including the lower Paraná River (Burger & Gochfeld Hayes (1995) and del Castillo & Clay (2004), but are 1996, Lees et al. 2014). De Azara (1805) reported within the realms of possibility. that he had never seen “la cenicienta” (referring to C. Since 1990, there have been an additional 15 records, cirrocephalus s s) but had heard of a year in which they were 13 of which are published here for the first time (Table 1). very abundant, arriving from the south. Hayes (1995) Th ese include birds in both breeding (Fig. 1A) and non- Table 1. Recent records of Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus in Paraguay. No. Observer/ Date Plumage Locality (Latitude; Longitude) Department individuals Reference o o July 1990 2 Villeta (25 28'S; 57 36'W) Central J. Escobar 2 km north of Isla Umbú (27 00'S; Contreras et alll. January 1992 1 Ñeembucú 58 26'W) (2014) 5 November 1994 1 Asunción (Bahía de Asunción) Central J. Escobar 4 October 2004 2 Breeding Asunción (Bahía de Asunción) Central P.S. & R. McCann C. Morales, S. Centrón, H. 21 May 2005 1 Non-breeding Asunción (Bahía de Asunción) Central Cabral Beconi & R. Zarza o o 16 September 2005 3 Non-breeding Fuerte Olimpo (21 2'S; 57 52'W) Alto Paraguay J. Escobar o o 11 January 2009 1 Non-breeding Arroyo Aguapey (27 0"S; 56 17'W) Itapúa H. del Castillo o o 11 August 2009 1 Non-breeding Asunción (25 16'S; 57 40'W) Central R.P.C. Breeding (2); 13 September 2009 3 Asunción Central R.P.C. immature J. Escobar (largest 7 October 2009 16 Intermediate Arroyo Aguapey Itapúa reported flock) At least 2 in R.P.C., H. Swegen o o 11 October 2011 11 Brazo Aña Cua (27 22'S; 56 40'W) Itapúa breeding & B. Lorentzon Carmen del Paraná (27 15'S; 23 August 2012 2 Breeding Itapúa Roberto Derna 56 10'W) o o 26 March 2013 1 Breeding Laguna Blanca (23 44'S; 56 17'W W) San Pedro Smith et al. 2016 3 February 2016 1 Breeding Asunción Central R.P.C. Yacyretá hydroelectric dam (27 29'S; 13 November 2016 1 Breeding Itapúa R.P.C. 56 44'W) Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. C D Figure 1. ( ( (A A A) Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus, Carmen del Paraná, dept. Itapúa (Photo author: R. Derna); (B) Sterna paradisaea, Bahía de Asunción, dept. Central (Photo author: F. Hayes); (C) Sterna hirundo, Laguna Blanca, dept. San Pedro (Photo author: P. Smith); (D) Leucophaeus atricilla, Bahía de Asunción, dept. Central (Photo author: M. Coath); (E) Leucophaeus pipixcan, Laguna Sanidad, dept. Presidente Hayes (Photo author: A.J. Lesterhuis); (F) Gelochelidon nilotica, Laguna Capitan, dept. Presidente Hayes (Photo author: A.J. Lesterhuis); (G) Chlidonias hybrida, Estancia Graciela, dept. Misiones (Photo author: H. Faithfull). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. breeding plumage, as well as at least one immature. Th e nest varied from 2 to 3, with a mean of 2.6 eggs (A.J.L.). species seems to be a regular vagrant in Paraguay and may On 30 September 2007, one nest with 3 eggs was found be more numerous in some years than others. in a colony with Yellow-billed Terns and Black Skimmers Sternula superciliaris: Yellow-billed Tern is fairly on a sand dune on Isla Yacyretá, Itapúa dept. Krannitz common along the major rivers in Paraguay but is rather (1989) reported a mean clutch size of 2.3 from Brazil, rare away from them. Th e farthest west the species based on 121 nests. has been recorded is on the lagoons of the Yacaré Sur Sterna paradisaea: Hayes et alll. (1990) recorded o o watershed (22 33'S; 59 23'W) in the central Chaco, and the Arctic Tern at the Bahía de Asunción, Central dept. the Estero Patiño wetlands associated with the Pilcomayo on the 9 and 10 May 1989. Photos were deposited in River (R.P.C., A.J.L., H. del Castillo). Yellow-billed Tern VIREO and one is published here (Fig. 1B) for the first nests in colonies with both Large-billed Tern Phaetusa time. This record was the first of the species in the interior simplex x and Black Skimmer along the Paraguay River and of South America. the lower reaches of the Paraná River (from the Yacyretá Sterna hirundo: a winter adult Common Tern dam to the confluence with the Para guay River). Colonies was photographed (Fig. 1C) and filmed on 17 and 18 are located on sand banks and sandy beaches of islands, September 2006 at Laguna Blanca, San Pedro dept. by with breeding activity from August to December. During P.S., and was also observed by H. del Castillo, Richard river surveys carried out between 14–15 and 26–27 Smith and Kirti Chaudhurri (Smith & del Castillo October 2004, a total of 155 Yellow-billed Tern nests 2006, Smith et al. 2016). It was identifi ed based on the were found in 19 colonies along 675 km of the Paraguay dark carpal bar, dark primaries, short tail, long black o o River between Concepción (23 25'S; 57 00'W) and Paso bill and fl attened head. Th is represents the fi rst record o o de Patria (27 15'S; 58 33'W). Th e number of eggs per of Common Tern for Paraguay. Previous reports of the nest varied from 1 to 4, with a mean of 2.02 eggs (A.J.L.). species in Paraguay (CDC 1995, 1997) are in error On 30 September 2007, 13 nests were found in a mixed and refer to the fi rst Paraguayan record of Arctic Tern colony situated in a sand dune on Isla Yacyretá, Itapúa which was initially misidentified as a Common Tern o o dept. (27 25'S; 56 49'W). Here the number of eggs (del Castillo & Clay 2004). Common Tern has been varied from 1 to 3 and the mean was 2.7 eggs (A.J.L.). reported from several inland localities in Argentina to the Krannitz (1989) reported a mean clutch size of 1.94 eggs south of Paraguay (Mark Pearman, pers. comm.) and its and a range 1–3 eggs for 16 nests in Brazil. occurrence in Paraguay as a vagrant or irregular passage Phaetusa simplex: Large-billed Tern is a common migrant is unsurprising. species along the major rivers and in associated wetlands, Leucophaeus atricilla: Laughing Gull breeds in the including (and perhaps increasingly) rice fi elds. Th e eastern United States and the Caribbean and winters in highest count is of 848 birds going to roost on the 4 Central and South America (Burger & Gochfeld 1996). November 2016 seen from Parque Solidaridad (25 16'S; In South America it occurs along the Pacific coast as far 57 39'W, on the banks of the Paraguay River) by R.P.C. south as northern Chile, and along the Atlantic coast Thou gh generally uncommon away from major rivers, to northeastern Brazil, occasionally as far south as Rio it can become quite numerous when conditions are Grande do Sul (Burger 1996) and may be expanding appropriate (i.e. abundant freshwater). For instance, the its non-breeding distribution (Lima et alll. 2010). It is species is periodically abundant at the saline lagoons of considered primarily a coastal species and is only rarely the Yacaré Sur watershed in the central Chaco, e.g. 300– observed inland (Lima et alll. 2010). 500 birds at various lagoons in July 2012 (R.P.C. & P.S.) On 2 February 2011, R.P.C., A.J.L. and Melanie & which coincided with extensive fresh and brackish water Dominic Coath observed a gull in a large fl ock of Large- fl ooding in the watershed. Th e Yacaré Sur watershed billed Terns in the Bahía de Asunción (Fig. 1D). Th e bird and the Estero Patiño wetlands of the Pilcomayo River was identified as a first-year Lau ghing Gull based on its watershed (both Presidente Hayes dept.) form the western relatively long bill, fl attened forehead and elongated body, limit of the normal range of the species in Paraguay. combined with grey wash on flanks and hind-neck, and Large-billed Tern breeds in mixed colonies with mottled underwing, which distinguish the species from Yellow-billed Tern and Black Skimmer on sand banks similar plumages of Franklin's Gull Leucophaeus pipixcan and sandy beaches of islands. Although a common bird (Sibley 2000). (del Castillo & Clay (2004), to date only small breeding Th is represents the fi rst record of the species for colonies have been found of this species. During a river the country, and one of the southernmost records in survey on 26 and 27 October 2004 a total of five Lar ge- South America. There is an undocumented re port of a o o billed Tern nests were found in fi ve mixed colonies along bird captured at Lagoa do Peixe (31 14'S; 50 57'W), 300 km of the Paraguay River between Concepción and Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in July 1985 (Sick 1993), o o Asunción (25 15'S; 57 37'W). The number of eggs per but it was treated as requiring documentation by Bencke Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. Castillo, H. Cabral, S. Centrón, F. Fragano and L. López. (2001). Records of the species inland in South America Presumably the same bird was seen again, albeit distantly, are rare; previously published reports include three in on 4 July (R.P .C.). F. Fragano documented the record with Amazonas state, Brazil (Lima et al. 2010), one in western a distant photograph. Th e bird was easily identifi ed by the Amazonian Peru (O'Donnel & González 2003) and a stocky, black gull-like bill, all pale crown, and smudgy handful of records from the western Amazon and Andes blackish-patch on the ear-coverts. Th e upperparts, in Ecuador (Santander et alll. 2011, Henry 2012). including the long wings, rump and tail, were very pale Leucophaeus pipixcan: Franklin's Gull breeds in pearly-grey, and the tail was only shallowly forked. A bird Canada and the United States, and winters along the in full breeding plumage was photographed by A.J.L. at Pacific coast of South America to southern Chile, o o Laguna Capitán (22 33'S; 59 42'W), Presidente Hayes also occurring in small numbers in Argentina from dept. on 25 October 2014 (Fig. 1F). Córdoba to Chubut provinces, and rarely to Tierra del These are the first documented records of the Gull - Fuego (Burger & Gochfeld 1996). In  Bolivia  it has billed Tern in Paraguay. Th e species had been previously been reported from  La Paz,  Cochabamba  and Potosí listed for Paraguay without details (CDC 1995, 1997). We depts.  (Hennessey  et al.  2003)  and vagrants have consider the species a rare vagrant in Paraguay. Paraguayan reached  Venezuela (Hilty 2003), French Guiana, both records presumably refer to the southern South American coastal and inland  Brazil  (Farias 2016), and Uruguay population of gronvoldi: the three records reported here were (Abreu 2015). of birds in the plumage expected for individuals from an On  17 June 2004, A.J.L. photographed a dark- austral breeding population, with non-breeding plumaged headed gull at Laguna Sanidad, Estero Patiño, Presidente birds being recorded in the austral winter and a breeding Hayes dept. (Fig. 1E) that was also observed by H. del plumaged bird during the austral spring (when northern Castillo, M. de Bernard and M. Montiel. Th e bird was birds would be expected to show the opposite plumages). identified as a Franklin's Gull due to its blackish hood , Chlidonias hybrida: Whiskered Tern has migratory prominent white eye crescents, dark grey upperwing and populations that breed in southern Europe to central Asia, plain white underwings (Sibley 2000). Th e solid black and in east Asia (wintering in northern and central Africa wing tips, with some brown remaining on the secondaries and southern Asia), with resident populations found in and tertials indicated that the gull was in fi rst  summer southern Africa, southern Asia and Australia (Gochfeld plumage (Burger & Gochfeld 1996). This represents the et alll. 2016b). Occasional transatlantic vagrancy has fi rst record of the species for Paraguay. been recorded, e.g. to Iceland, Azores, USA (Gochfeld On 11 July 2007, a probable Franklin's Gull et al. 2016b) and vagrants have also been reported for was observed by A.J.L. and S. Centrón at Campo o o Micronesia (Hayes et alll. 2016). María (22 34'S; 59 20'W) Presidente Hayes dept. The A breeding plumage adult Whiskered Tern was individual had an all black hood and in flight showed observed and photographed at Estancia La Graciela, darkish grey upperwings with a white subterminal band. o o Misiones dept. (26 34'24"S; 56 51'42"W) on 14 January Unfortunately, the bird was seen only briefl y before fl ying 2016 by R.P.C., Holly Faithfull and Lloyd Stetson (Fig. off. We consider this species a rare va grant to Paraguay, 1G). Th e bird had the typical structure of a “marsh tern” though one which seems likely to occur again given Chlidonias s sp. with broad-based wings that appeared that it winters in southern South American and its well- shorter and more round-tipped than Sterna a terns, and a documented tendency to wander. short tail with a shallow fork. Its plumage was uniformly Gelochelidon nilotica: Gull-billed Tern breeds in mid-grey across the wings, mantle, rump, and tail; whilst southern Europe, northern Africa, central and east Asia, blackish underparts contrasting markedly with the white the southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and cheek and undertail-coverts, and with the pale underwing. South America (Gochfeld et alll. 2016a). Within the The fora ging action was also classic marsh tern: dipping Americas, at least three subspecies breed, with North down to the water to surface-pick. American breeding birds wintering as far south as This re presents the first record of Whiskered Tern Brazil and Peru (Gochfeld et alll. 2016a). The subspecies for Paraguay and for South America, and one of very few gronvoldi i has a disparate breeding distribution centered records in the Americas. Previous records in the Americas on the coast of the Guianan shield and southern coastal are limited to three records from Cape May, New Jersey, Brazil and the lower Paraná and Plata River Basins, where USA (in July 1993, August 1998 and September 2014), it is believed to be resident (Gochfeld et alll. 2016a). one record from Delaware Bay, Delaware, USA in July/ On 25 July 1999, H. del Castillo observed an adult August 1993 (assumed to be the same as the first Cape Gull-billed Tern in non-breeding plumage at Laguna May bird), three records from Barbados and a single Sanidad, Estero Patiño, Presidente Hayes dept. On 3 record from Great Inagua, Bahamas (Howell et alll. 2014, July 2005, another non-breeding adult was found at the New Jersey Audubon 2014). same locality by R.P.C., and seen later that day by H. del Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. lacks any collection data. Schlegel (1863) states that the Sterna trudeaui: Th e only reports of Snowy-crowned specimen was “acquired from Mr Pardzudacky in 1862”. Tern in Paraguay are those of Contreras & Contreras De Azara's (1805) “la mayor” was attributed to this species (1992), who recorded one at Itá Enramada (25 37'S; by Hartlaub (1847), but de Azara specifi cally stated that 57 30'W), Central dept., on 7 May 1989; one at Puerto o o the species does not occur in Paraguay. The Kelp Gull is Nuevo de Pilar (26 52'S; 58 23'W), Ñeembucú dept. widely distributed in the southern hemisphere breeding in on 10 January 1992; and at least 10 (1 in the morning, South America (Burger & Gochfeld 1996) and although 10 in the afternoon) between Puerto Naranjito and Pilar o o nowadays expanding into continental ecosystems (26 56'S; 58 27'W), Ñeembucú dept. on 17 September (including freshwater lagoons) in northern Patagonia 1992. Hayes (1995) treated these records as hypothetical/ (Frixione et alll. 2012) we treat this historical record as possible because of the lack of description provided, and hypothetical in Paraguay and consider the provenance of del Castillo & Clay (2004) listed the species as requiring the specimen to be likely an error. documentation. Both Large-billed Tern and Yellow-billed Tern can show plumages superficially similar to that of DISCUSSION Snowy-crowned, and a recent record of the very similar Forster's Tern Sterna forsteri i in Mar Chiquita Th ough it is a landlocked country, several mayor rivers Lagoon, Argentina (http://ebird.org/ebird/argentina/view/ that bisect Paraguay connect it to important South checklist/S15984614) underlines the need for caution American wetlands and ultimately to the Atlantic Ocean in evaluating undocumented extralimital records of this coast. Large river systems like the Paraguay, Paraná species. Nonetheless, the species is of probable occurrence and Pilcomayo Rivers are likely the main source of as a vagrant in Paraguay, and has been recorded at several the wandering species of the suborder Lari recorded in Argentinian localities close to the Paraguayan border. Paraguay to date. These include (in addition to those listed b y Contreras & Of the 10 species documented to date, fi ve species Contreras 1992) a record 109 km from the Paraguayan are terns, four are gulls and the other is the Black Skimmer. border at Laguna Iberá, Corrientes province (10 May Of the species considered pending documentation, 2009; F. Schmitt & R. Barros McIntosh, eBird); 63 km the Snowy-crowned Tern would seem the most likely away at Laguna de Gramado, Misiones province; 77 km be subsequently documented in Paraguay given the away at La Escondida, Chaco province (A. Bodrati, pers. proximity of recent records in northern Argentina. comm.); and 77 km away at Reserva El Bagual, Formosa Th e increased number of reports of gulls and terns province (Di Giacomo 2005). The latter locality is just 99 in Paraguay is likely a result of an increasing interest in km from Pilar, one of the localities reported by Contreras waterbirds and birding in general in Paraguay. Since 2001 & Contreras (1992). the Neotropical Waterbird Census, a waterbird monitoring Th alasseus maximus: Th e only report of Royal Tern program implemented by a network of volunteers twice a in Paraguay is that of Contreras (1992), who observed year, has attracted an increasing number of participants. one individual at Pilar, Ñeembucú dept. on 10 September Furthermore, more local people are becoming involved 1992. Unfortunately, Contreras (1992) provides only a in birding at a time when ecotourism is beginning to brief description of the bird, stating that it was in non- attract considerable national and international attention. breeding plumage with the crown greyish-white. Hayes It would seem that additional records of interest may be (1995) treated the occurrence of the species in Paraguay expected in the near future, perhaps even including new as hypothetical/possible, while del Castillo & Clay (2004) records of the long absent Brown-hooded Gull. considered it as requiring documentation. Esteban (1953) reports a previous specimen record of a female (6662) in the Miguel Lillo Collection, Tucumán ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS from Isla Apipé Grande, Corrientes, Argentina, taken on 24 October 1950 which is geographically close to the Fieldwork at Laguna Sanidad was part of projects under- Contreras (1992) record and immediately adjacent to the taken by the Asociación Guyra Paraguay y and supported Paraguayan border. However, given the propensity for the by USFWS-NMBCA. P.S. records were obtained during extralimital occurrence of terns and the fact that there FAUNA Paraguay birding tours, and all participants are potential confusion species which are not excluded by in them are thanked for their support. Brad Andres, the description provided, it seems best to maintain the Daniel Blanco, German Pugnali and Martin Reid all Contreras (1992) record as pending documentation. helped confirm the identity of the Franklin's Gull. Mark Larus dominicanus: A specimen (RMNH. Pearmann provided information on records in Argentina. AVES.46019) of the Kelp Gull with locality “Paraguay” Steven van der Mije of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Naturalis Biodiversity Center (Leiden, Holland) Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017 Status and distribution of the Suborder Lari in Paraguay Clay et al. Custer T.W. & Mitchell C.A. 1987. Organochlorine contaminants for providing details of specimens in their collection. and reproductive success of Black Skimmers in south Texas, 1984. Th e authors also want to thanks J. Escobar, C. Morales, Journal of Field Ornithology y 58: 480–489. S. Centrón, H. Cabral Beconi and R. Zarza for sharing Davenport L.C., Goodenough K.S. & Haugaasen T. 2016. Birds of two oceans? Trans-Andean and divergent migration of Black their observations of the Grey-headed Gull. Roberto Skimmers (Rynchops niger cinerascens s s) from the Peruvian Amazon. Derna kindly provided his photograph of Grey-headed PLoS ONE E 11: e0144994. Gull, M. 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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(2): 2017

Journal

Ornithology ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 1, 2017

Keywords: breeding biology; gull; Laridae; Rynchopidae; Black Skimmer; Sterninae; Tern; vagrant

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