18 November 2020

New! A taxidermied yellow-throated euphonia

(Euphonia hirundinacea Bonaparte, 1838)

Museum taxidermist Valentina Kubanina made a taxidermied yellow-throated euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea Bonaparte, 1838).


The yellow-throated euphonia (Euphonia hirundinacea Bonaparte, 1838) is a species of passerine birds common in Central and South America. It is found mainly in arid and humid regions along the borders of forests, shady plantations, as well as along gorges where rivers and streams flow.


These birds feed almost exclusively on fruits and berries, preferring mistletoe berries. Although in some regions of their habitat figs and ripe bananas form the basis of their diet. In the Lesser Antilles, these birds are called "mistletoe birds" because these berries are their favorite. Mistletoe berries have a medium-hard peel. Birds tear it open with their beaks and swallow the seeds surrounded by sticky pulp. The seeds pass through the digestive system completely undigested, and the nutrients from the pulp are easily absorbed without prior grinding. Such nutrition on highly specialized food, which does not require mechanical grinding for subsequent digestion, leads to a simplification of the gastrointestinal tract. Curiously, these birds sometimes catch insects, but only to feed their chicks.

These birds can tolerate the disturbance of their habitat and are able to coexist with humans. They can settle on plantations, young forests formed after logging. They nest next to human dwellings, and on embankments of dirt roads at a height of about 1-3.5 m above the ground, as well as in rotting fence posts.

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