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Blue And Black-Faced Dacnis by

A fascinatingly beautiful bird and its cousin can be found in Central and South America. We're talking about the Blue and Black-faced Dacnis. They are members of the tanager family. The Black-faced Dacnis lineata and the Blue Dacnis cayana are small passerine birds (12 cm long and weighing about 13 grams). More than half of all bird species, passerines are known as perching birds, and sometimes also as songbirds.

A word first about the Tanager family of birds. There are about 240 species of Tanagers living primarily in Central and South America. A few are migratory and get as far north as North America. They are all fairly brightly colored, although a few species are black and white. Many of the species live in the same areas but their different eating habits eliminate competition. For example, some of them eat insects off leaves; others catch them flying through the air. In temperate climates, the breeding season is March through June. In South America, it is September and October.

The genus, Dacnis, includes several species with common names identifying them primarily by color:

White-bellied Dacnis, Dacnis albiventris
Black-faced Dacnis, Dacnis lineata
Yellow-bellied Dacnis, Dacnis flaviventer
Black-legged Dacnis, Dacnis nigripes
Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Dacnis venusta
Blue Dacnis, Dacnis cayana
Viridian Dacnis, Dacnis viguieri
Scarlet-breasted Dacnis, Dacnis berlepschi

The Blue Dacnis is also called the Turquoise Honeycreeper. It is a small tanager, a beautiful turquoise-blue colored body with black around its eyes, forehead, throat and upper back. Their wings are black-edged with turquoise in the center. That's the male, that is. Females are lighter blue, almost green, with a turquoise head; their bellies are paler green; wings are brown with green edges. They almost look like two different birds. Most honeycreepers have long bills, but these little guys' bills are relatively short.

The Black-faced Dacnis is distinguished with black around its eyes and continuing along its neck and the top of its wings. The identifying turquoise color of the Blue Dacnis becomes less green and more blue in the Black-faced bird. It habits are almost identical to that of its cousin, the Blue Dacnis.

These birds are social creatures, found mostly in pairs or as part of a mixed family high in the rainforest. They feed on fruit and insects which they find on canopy leaves. Their nests are built in trees hidden by dense vegetation and resemble a round bulky cup. Females normally lay two brown and white eggs and they incubate them. Males do the feeding for females during incubation.

Although this species enjoys an 'of least concern' rating on the endangered species list, its home is primarily the rainforest that is being lost at the rate of thousands of acres every day. We should be concerned.

Blue & Black Faced Dacnis can be found in South America. More information about Rainforest Animals & Rainforest Education

Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/Blue-And-Black-Faced-Dacnis/188612

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