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I. Sazima, C. Sazima (2010)Cleaner birds: an overview for the Neotropics
Biota Neotropica, 10
I. Sazima (2013)Cleaner birds: a worldwide overview
Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia - Brazilian Journal of Ornithology, 19
(2010)Aves do Brasil: Pantanal & Cerrado
W. Tomas (1995)Seasonality of the antler cycle of pampas deer (ozotoceros bezoarticus leucogaster) from the pantanal wetland, brazil
Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 30
K. Neam (2015)The odd couple: interactions between a sloth and a brown jay
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13
J. Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. Christie (2010)Handbook of the Birds of the World
I. Sazima (2013)Unexpected cleaners: Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) remove debris, ticks, and peck at sores of capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), with an overview of tick-removing birds in Brazil
Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia - Brazilian Journal of Ornithology, 15
(1944)California Scrub Jay picks ticks from mule deer
Frank Isenhart, D. Desante (1985)Observations of scrub jays cleaning ectoparasites from black-tailed deer
The Condor, 87
(2009)Crows (Corvidae), p
(2010)Purplish Jay hitching a ride on a Marsh Deer - Pouso Alegro, Patanal, BR
W. Tomas, S. Salis, M. Silva, Guilherme Mourão (2001)Marsh Deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) Distribution as a Function of Floods in the Pantanal Wetland, Brazil
Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 36
A. Desbiez, D. Kluyber (2013)The Role of Giant Armadillos (Priodontes maximus) as Physical Ecosystem Engineers
C. Peres (1996)Ungulate ectoparasite removal by Black Caracaras and Pale-winged Trumpeters in Amazonian forest
The Wilson Journal of Ornithology, 108
(2009)Bush-strikes to Old World sparrows
C A Peres (1996)Ungulate ectoparasite removal by black caracaras and pale-winged trumpeters in Amazonian forests
Wilson Bulletin, 108
Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 23(4), 365-367 ARTICLE December 2015 Ivan Sazima Museu de Zoologia, Caixa Postal 6109, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, CEP 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil. Corresponding author: email@example.com Received on 15 April 2015. Accepted on 29 December 2015. ABSTRACT: Corvids are renowned for their variable foraging behaviour, and about 20 species in eight genera perch on wild and domestic ungulates to pick ticks on the body of these mammals. Herein I illustrate and briefly comment on the Purplish Jay (Cyanocorax cyanomelas) riding deer and tapir in the Pantanal, Western Brazil. The jay perched on t he head or back of the ungulates and searched for ticks, playing the role of a cleaner bird. Deer are rarely reported as hosts or clients of tick-picking birds in the Neotropics. The Purplish Jay is the southernmost Neotropical c leaner corvid reported to date. Given their opportunistic foraging behaviour, a few other Cyanocorax jay species may occasionally play the cleaner role of wild and domestic ungulates. KEY-WORDS: Cyanocorax cyanomelas, foraging, cleaning behaviour, Pantanal, Western Brazil. INTRODUCTION a Gray Brocket Deer (Mazama gouazoubira) on 25 October 2014 at 16:52 h at the Pouso Alegre Lodge (16°30'37"S, 56°44'13"W, 120 m a.s.l.), in the north Corvids are renowned for their variable foraging behaviour, and about 20 species in eight genera ride wild Pantanal of Poconé, Mato Grosso, Western Brazil. The and domestic ungulates to pick ticks, scabs, and other jay perched on the deer’s head and picked ticks (and organic matter on the body of these mammals (Sazima possibly scabs and other organic substances) from within 2011). In an overview of tick-removing birds in Brazil the ears (Figure 1). During the inspection and pecking, the deer appeared oblivious to the bird’s behaviour (B. (Sazima 2007), I suggested that species of the genus Cyanocorax would be occasional parasite cleaners of wild P. S. Campos Neto, pers. comm.). Another record of large herbivores or domestic livestock. this jay species was made with a camera trap on 23 November 2011 at 07:25 h in central Pantanal (about 19°17'S, 55°43'W, 130 m a.s.l.), northwest of Campo METHODS Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul, Western Brazil. The jay perched on the head of a South American Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) resting on an excavation made by To test my supposition on the cleaner role of Cyanocorax the Giant Armadillo (Priodontes maximus) (Desbiez jays, I searched for photos of these corvids perched on & Kluyber 2013). The bir d appeared alert (Figure 2) wild ungulates in photo archives online and found three and presumably searched for ticks, scabs and organic substantiated records of the Purplish Jay (Cyanocorax substances near or within the ears of the tapir. The last cyanomelas) perched on such ungulates. Herein I illustrate record I found of the Purplish Jay on wild ungulates was this jay perched on deer and tapir in the Pantanal, Western made on 09 September 2010 at the Pouso Alegre Lodge Brazil, and briefly comment on its role as a cleaner bird (16°30'37"S, 56°44'13"W, 120 m a.s.l.), in the north of these two ungulates, based on the photographic Pantanal near Poconé, Mato Grosso, Western Brazil. records and correspondence with two colleagues (see The bird also rode a brocket deer, identified on the Acknowledgements). photo as the larger Marsh Deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) (Murphy 2010). The jay was perched on the back of the RESULTS deer and, besides presumably searching for ticks, it also appeared to scan the surroundings for prey flushed by A Purplish Jay was recorded searching for ticks on the foraging activity of the mammal. The Purplish Jay rides wild ungulates to pick food Ivan Sazima FIGURE 1. A Purplish Jay (Cyanocorax cyanomelas) picks ticks, and possibly scabs, from the ears of a Gray Brocket Deer (Mazama gouazoubira) in the Pantanal, Western Brazil. Photo: Benedito Pio da Silva Campos Neto. FIGURE 2. A Purplish Jay (Cyanocorax cyanomelas) searches for food on the head of a South American Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) in the Pantanal, Western Brazil. Photo: Projeto Tatu Canastra Pantanal. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 23(4), 2015 The Purplish Jay rides wild ungulates to pick food Ivan Sazima DISCUSSION parasites from arboreal mammals such as sloths (Sazima 2007). Additionally, this latter record and the present paper strengthen the postulation that birds mostly clean The three recor ds presented herein leave no doubt that the Purplish Jay plays the role of a cleaner bird and medium-sized to large herbivores (Sazima & Sazima support my assumption that a Cyanocorax species picks 2010, Sazima 2011). ticks on wild herbivores, including ungulates (Sazima 2007). Besides ticks, scabs, wounded tissue and other organic matter are additional food sources available on ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS the clients of cleaning birds (Sazima & Sazima 2010). The bird perching on the head and back of deer (and I thank Marlies Sazima for loving support in the field and tapir as well) agrees with the behaviour of several at home; Benedito Pio da Silva Campos Neto and the other corvid species that clean ungulates (Sazima Projeto Tatu Canastra Pantanal for permission to use the 2011). The jay inspecting the deer’s head, picking food photos of the jay on brocket deer and tapir, respectively; especially from the ears, and the apparent indifference Benedito Pio da Silva Campos Neto and Arnaud Desbiez or confidence of these ungulates to cleaning are for relevant data; José Maurício Barbanti Duarte for the behaviours already reported for this interaction type identification of the brocket deer; the CNPq for earlier with corvids (Dixon 1944, Isenhart & DeSante 1985; financial support. photos in Sazima 2011). The Purplish Jay adds to the list of cleaner birds of the tapir (Peres 1996, Sazima & Sazima 2010). REFERENCES Neotropical deer are rarely reported as clients of tick-picking birds (Peres 1996), and the two records of Anjos, L. 2009. Crows (Corvidae), p. 494-641. In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Christie, D. (eds.). Handbook of the birds of the the brocket deer add this cervid type to the list of wild world. Vol. 14, Bush-strikes to Old World sparrows. Barcelona, ungulates attended by birds. I suspect that additional Lynx Edicions. deer species will be reported as clients of the Purplish Desbiez, A. L. J. & Kluyber, D. 2013. The role of giant armadillos Jay, including the Marsh Deer and the Pampas Deer (Priodontes maximus) as physical ecosystem engineers. Biotropica, 45(5): 537–540. (Ozotocerus bezoarticus), as both these deer species occur Dixon, J. G. 1944. California Scrub Jay picks ticks from mule deer. in the Pantanal (Tomas 1995, Tomas et al. 2001, IS The Condor, 46(4): 204. pers. obs.). Deer seem to be important clients of tick- Gwynne, J. A.; Ridgely, R. S.; Tudor, G. & Argel, M. 2010. Aves do picking corvids in the Nearctic, Palaearctic, and even Brasil: Pantanal & Cerrado. São Paulo: Editora Horizonte. Indomalayan realms (Sazima 2011). If my supposition of Isenhart, F. R. & DeSante D. F. 1985. Observations of scrub jays cleaning ectoparasites from black-tailed deer. The Condor, 87(1): the Marsh and Pampas Deer as clients of the Purplish Jay 145-147. holds true, then the importance of deer to Neotropical Murphy, D. 2010. [Purplish Jay hitching a ride on a Marsh Deer tick-picking birds will increase. Natural history-oriented - Pouso Alegro, Patanal, BR]. https://www.flickr.com/photos/ studies or photographic records (as used here) would dennismurphy/5213875211/in/photostream/(access on 28 strengthen or invalidate my suggestion. February 2015). Neam, K.D. 2015. The odd couple: interactions between a sloth and The Western Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma c alifornica) is a brown jay. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 13(3): the northernmost tick-picking bird in the Neotropics 170–171 (Sazima & Sazima 2010), and the Purplish Jay stands Peres, C. A. 1996. Ungulate ectoparasite removal by black caracaras as the southernmost cleaning New World corvid. As the and pale-winged trumpeters in Amazonian forests. Wilson Bulletin, 108(1): 170-175. latter bird’s distribution reaches Argentina (Anjos 2009), Sazima, I. 2007. Unexpected cleaners: Black Vultures (Coragyps it may extend its cleaning role further southwards. Given atratus) remove debris, ticks, and peck at sores of capybaras the opportunistic foraging behaviour of Cyanocorax jays, I (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), with an overview of tick-removing would expect additional species may occasionally play the birds in Brazil. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 15(3): 417-426. cleaner role for wild and domestic ungulates. A potential Sazima, I. 2011. Cleaner birds: a worldwide overview. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 19(1): 32-47. candidate is the Plush-crested Jay (Cyanocorax chysops), Sazima, I. & Sazima, C. 2010. Cleaner birds: an overview for the which may forage on the ground and sometimes flocks Neotropics. Biota Neotropica, 10(4): 195-203. together with the Purplish Jay in the Pantanal (Sazima Tomas, W. M. 1995. Seasonality of the antler cycle of the Pampas deer 2007, Anjos 2009, Gwynne et al. 2010). (Ozotocerus bezoarticus leucogaster) from the Pantanal wetland, Brazil. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 30(4): 221- The Brown Jay (Psi lorhinus morio) was recently recorded picking moths from the fur of the Three-toed Tomas, W. M.; Salis, S. M.; Silva, M. P. & Mourão, G. 2001. Marsh Sloth (Bradypus variegatus) in Costa Rica (Neam 2015). deer (Blastocerus dichotomus) distribution as a function of floods This recor d supports another suggestion I made about in the Pantanal wetland, Brazil. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and jays as cleaners, namely, that these birds may glean Environment, 36(1): 9-13. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 23(4), 2015
Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2015
Keywords: Cyanocorax cyanomelas; foraging; cleaning behaviour; Pantanal; Western Brazil
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