Sonntag, 10. Mai 2015

Willkommene Besucher - Rodrigues Fody in our garden

     Rodrigues Fody - Cardinal jaune

Der endemische Rodrigues Fody in unserem Garten. Diese Finkenart liebt unsere blaue Thunbergia grandiflora. ie Besuche starteten direkt nachdem die ersten blauen Blüten an der ehemalig nackten Wand zu sehen waren.
 In den ersten Wochen und Monaten war es das Männchen, das täglich kam, seit Ende April 2015 beehrt uns ein Weibchen mit ihren Besuchen, und ich frage mich, was ist wohl mit dem treuen und so wunderbaren Männchen passiert...

 The endemic Rodrigues Fody in our garden. They love our blue Thunbergia grandiflora and started to visit after the first blue flowers could be seen on the former naked wall.
In the first weeks and months it was the male who came frequently, since end of April 2015 a female is visiting and I am asking myself what did happen to the wonderful faithful male....-

 Le Cardinal jaune, oiseau endémique à Rodrigues, dans notre jardin. Ils aiment notre Thunbergia grandiflora bleu. Ils nous ont commencé à visiter après les premières fleurs bleues pouvaient être vus sur l'ancien mur nu.
Dans les premières semaines et mois, c'était l'homme qui venait souvent, depuis la fin d' avril 2015, un femme est en visite et je me demande ce qui est arrivé au mâle, merveilleux et fidèle à la fois...


Letztes Jahr im Januar habe ich zum ersten Mal einen Cardinal Jaune in der Stadt gesehen, all die Jahre zuvor war dies nur in speziellen bewaldeten Gebieten möglich und eine Glückssache obendrein, so selten war er. -

Last year in January I saw for the first time a Cardinal Jaune in Port Mathurin, all those years ago this as only possible in special wooded areas and a matter of luck as this bird was so rare...-

L'année dernière en Janvier je voyais pour la première fois un cardinal Jaune dans la ville, pendant toutes ces années, ce fut seulement possible dans les zones boisées et en plus une question de chance  si rare que cet oiseau était. -

Having once been abundant, the Rodrigues Fody Foudia flavicans declined dramatically to around 6 pairs in 1968, although the population is now increasing, with around 300 birds in 1991,  900 counted in 1999 and 8,000 in 2010.

Here a fact sheet about the Rodrigues Fody which I found here

 IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable VULNERABLE
"Rodrigues fody description
The breeding male of this small (length 12-13cm), forest-dwelling species is a particularly attractive bird, with a bright yellow head and breast and a vivid orange face. The underparts are pale yellow, while the plumage on the upper parts is brown washed with olive-green. Non-breeding males lack the vibrant orange and simply have a yellow face. Females have brown plumage, which becomes paler on the sides and is washed with olive on the head. A faint yellow can be seen on the underparts and cheeks. A particularly vocal bird, the bold, distinctive warbling of the Rodrigues fody is one of the dominant bird sounds on the island it inhabits. It calls with a vigorous ‘chip’ or sings a tune of variable whistles, trills and notes

Rodrigues fody biology
The inquisitive Rodrigues fody, often seen in pairs or conspicuous, vocal flocks, is a largely insectivorous bird that searches for insect prey from ground level up to heights of ten metres off the ground. It moves along branches, carefully inspecting the bark for insects, extracting prey from crevices or the undersides of leaves and branches, and sometimes hanging upside down as it reaches for its food. As well as this insect diet, the Rodrigues fody feeds on spiders, seeds, some fruit, and also nectar, which its brush-tipped tongue is highly developed for.Nests of the Rodrigues fody have been found situated high up in trees and are large, domed structures composed of fine grasses and palm fibres, and speckled with cotton pieces and feathers. The eggs of this species are pale blue.
Rodrigues fody range
Formerly widely distributed on the island of Rodrigues, the Rodrigues fody is now confined to an area of about ten square kilometres, centred on Cascade Pigeon valley in the north of the island.

Rodrigues fody habitat
The Rodrigues fody inhabits dense forest, showing a distinct preference for areas of mature forest, with tall trees, a closed canopy and a high diversity of tree species.
It is often found near areas of introduced Araucaria species (evergreen coniferous trees) , showing an ability to adapt to some exotic vegetation.
Rodrigues fody status
Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007

Rodrigues fody threats
The once abundant Rodrigues fody was reduced to just five or six pairs in 1968 as a result of habitat loss, cyclones, severe drought, and competition with the introduced Madagascar fody (Foudia madagascariensis) . Thankfully, tragedy was averted with the recovery, expansion and protection of native and exotic woodland, and the fody population recovered to around 1,000 birds by 1999. Today, forest loss and degradation is no longer considered a major threat, but this does not leave the Rodrigues fody entirely in the clear. Feral cats are potential predators of the fody and competition with the Madagascar fody for food may still exert some level of pressure on the population, particularly when food is in short supply, such as in times of drought or cyclones. It is thought that it is this competition that restricts the Rodrigues fody to forest habitat. In addition, future cyclones and droughts pose a continual potential threat.

Rodrigues fody conservation
The recovery of the Rodrigues fody, pulled back from the brink of extinction, is a spectacular success story. Protection of the island’s watersheds allowed the surrounding forests to mature and recover and since the 1980s, the use of bottled gas for cooking became widespread, lessening the demand for firewood . Nature has also played a role in this species’ recovery, with a recent absence of catastrophic cyclones allowing populations to increase. While much of the reforestation has involved exotic trees, native species are being replanted in some areas, including two Conservation Management Areas where grazing animals and woodcutters are kept out and exotic plants are removed. The development of further Conservation Management Areas has been recommended, in addition to further forest management and expansion. Such measures will not only be beneficial for the Rodrigues fody, but may help lessen the island’s reputation as one of the world’s most degraded tropical islands."

- Cardinal Jaune/ Mauritius Wildlife Foundation
More pics of our lovely visitors on flickr

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