Eyes of Mysteries·Friends of Humanity Calendar | Northern Red-tailed Robin: The “elf” in the forest, loves to stand on the branches and wag its tail
The boar is down! “Monkey Paper” has arrived on my balcony! News of wild animals coming to the city is popping up on social media. In fact, we are surrounded by so many native wild animals that we know very little about. Understanding, friendship, and companionship, all things can live in harmony with each other, and cultivate in their own way. Xinhua Daily·Meeting Point, together with Jiangsu Wildlife Conservation Station, Jiangsu Forestry Research Institute, Nanjing Hongshan Forest Zoo, etc., launched the “Eye of Mystery · Friends of Humanity” calendar column, which will take you through infrared cameras, animal observers, etc. From the perspective of etc., to pay attention to the familiar and mysterious “animal neighbors”. Biodiversity is the basis of survival and vitality of the human homeland. Every solar term, we will also invite the solar term official to make a special recommendation and broadcast on that day. Today, let’s get to know the northern red-tailed robin (qú).
Advanced body color
The northern red-tailed robin is only about 15 centimeters long and weighs about 22 grams, which is smaller than the palm of an adult’s hand. Their small size allows them to walk and jump lightly among the branches of the woods without being affected.
In terms of body color, the northern red-tailed robin is very advanced, and it dazzles in the forest. Male adult birds are gray or dark gray on the forehead, top of the head, nape and upper back, the central pair of tail feathers are black, the base of the forehead, head side, neck side, chin, throat and upper chest are black, and the rest is the iconic orange brown. Compared with the male bird, the female northern red-tailed robin’s plumage is more elegant and concise. The upper body is a combination of olive green and light brown, and the two wings transition to dark brown. There are still a pair of characteristic white spots on the wings, and the tail is orange-yellow. , darker than the male’s orange-red.
“Pixie” loves to eat worms
The English name of the northern red-tailed robin is directly translated as “Dauri red-tailed robin”. They were first discovered in the Lake Baikal region, and their name also comes from a mountain in eastern Russia. They like to stand on the branches, swing their orange tail feathers up and down, and make nodding movements, like the lively and lovely elves in the woods.
The northern red-tailed robin will fly to the south to overwinter in winter. They mainly inhabit mountains, forests, river valleys, forest margins, and shrubs and low trees near settlements. The winter period is generally about 160 days, and it is not difficult to see them in East China and South China.
The northern red-tailed robin is an insectivorous bird with a short, pointed beak. They especially like to eat insects, and mostly feed on adults and larvae of Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, etc. There are more than 50 species, of which about 80% are Crop and tree pests. They are still very industrious, and they begin to catch insects and sing when it is almost dawn.
The northern red-tailed robin has a variety of nesting environments. In addition to a large number of nests in human buildings such as holes, crevices, eaves, and abandoned houses, they also nest in tree holes and rock caves. They will bring withered grass, moss, and grass roots. Using other materials, a bowl-shaped nest is carefully built in the gap, and the inside is lined with animal hair and feathers to form a comfortable little home.
After the nest is built, the female bird starts to lay eggs, usually one egg per day, with 6 eggs per nest. During the brooding period, the northern red-tailed robin has a strong territorial behavior. When other red-tailed robins or small birds are found near the nest, the parent bird will immediately fly to the intruder and issue a warning call of “gu gu gu” until the bird is put out. until the intruder is driven away. The most amazing thing is that within 80 meters of the northern red-tailed robin’s nest, it is almost impossible to have two nests at the same time, which perfectly interprets the meaning of “one mountain does not allow two birds”.
There are many natural enemies of the northern red-tailed robin. Snakes, shrikes, raptors, and even free-ranging domestic cats are a great threat to them. Therefore, before feeding them into the nest, they should stop nearby and observe carefully. Nearby, they will not return to the nest, but keep calling.
Drawing Zheng Cheng
Photo by Zou Weiming
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