Socotra Grosbeak


Socotra Grosbeak

__NOTOC__Taxobox
name = Socotra Grosbeak
status = LC
status_system = iucn3.1
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Passeriformes
familia = Fringillidae
genus = "Rhynchostruthus"
species = "R. socotranus"
binomial = "Rhynchostruthus socotranus"
binomial_authority = Sclater & Hartlaub, 1881
synonyms ="Rhynchostruthus socotranus socotranus"

The Socotra Grosbeak or Socotra Golden-winged Grosbeak ("Rhynchostruthus socotranus") is a finch endemic to Socotra, an island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Yemen. "R. socotranus" is by some authorities held to be the only species of the then-monotypic genus "Rhynchostruthus", including all other golden-winged grosbeaks therein as subspecies. But in recent times the three populations are usually considered a distinct species, with "R. socotranus" being limited to the Socotra population, the Arabian Grosbeak becoming "R. percivali", and the Somali Grosbeak "R. louisae" [Kirwan & Grieve (2007)] .

Description

The males are grey-brown overall with a black bill, a dark head with a black mask, large white cheek patches, and large, bright yellow patches on the wings and tail. The females are similar to the males though somewhat duller, and the juveniles are rather streaky and lack the adults' distinctive head pattern.

Ecology and status

The Socotra Grosbeak is found in a variety of habitats from the mountains to sea-level. It typically inhabits fairly arid scrub- or woodland dominated by spurges ("Euphorbia"), acacias ("Acacia") and juniper ("Juniperus"). The fruits of these plants appear to form the bulk of its diet.

The population is estimated to be about 6500 adult individuals. Despite being limited to a single island, its future appears to be rather secure. Consequently, the IUCN still classifies it as a Species of Least Concern, even after the mainland populations have been split off. [BLI (2004, 2008)]

Footnotes

References

*|year=2004|id=53426|title=Rhynchostruthus socotranus|downloaded=27 May 2008
* (2008) [http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=32474&m=0 Socotra Grosbeak Species Factsheet] . Retrieved 2008-MAY-27.
* (2007): Studies of Socotran birds II. One, two or three species: towards a rational taxonomy for the Golden-winged Grosbeak "Rhynchostruthus socotranus". "Bulletin of the African Bird Club" 14(2): 159-169.

External links

* [http://www.birdsoman.com/Birds/161-Finches/GoldenwingedGrosbeak/GoldenwingedGrosbeak.htm Photographs] . Retrieved 2008-MAY-27.


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