Luzon Racquet-tail


Luzon Racquet-tail

Identification

30 cm; 102–142 g. Bill pale greyish; dull green on upperparts, yellowish green below; forehead and face blue shading to green on lower cheeks and rear ear-coverts; mid-crown red; tail spatules blackish. Female has entire head green but for blue tinges and has shorter spatules .

Immature like female without spatules, but has narrow feathered extensions. Sympatric with P. luconensis and P. discurus, but first-named has blue crown in both sexes, without red crown patch in male, while last-named is now rare and usually found below elevational range of present species, is uniform pale yellow-green, yellower around face, and has blue uppertail .

Systematics History

Part of the P. platenae clade (which see). Frequently united with P. waterstradti, less commonly with P. verticalis, too, but case recently made for species status. Monotypic.

Subspecies

Monotypic.

Distribution

Mountains of Luzon (N Philippines).

Habitat

Primary montane forest above 700 m to as high as 2900 m .

Movement

Partial displacements from the highlands may occur with some regularity.

Diet and Foraging

Fruits of a fine-leafed tree growing low inside forest appears to be the only specific record, but seeds, nuts, berries and fruits all mentioned in diet . Some visits cultivation in company with P. luconensis .

Sounds and Vocal Behavior

Gives shrill screeching notes .

Breeding

Aug–Sept; but juvenile collected Jul. Nest recorded 5–6 m up in tall oak (Quercus) stub.

Conservation Status

Not globally threatened. Currently regarded as Near Threatened. Previously regarded as Vulnerable. CITES II. Restricted-range species. Population estimated at between 1500 and 7000 mature individuals within overall range of 10,400 km2. Although common in both the Cordillera Central and the Sierra Madre, the combination of habitat loss, hunting and trapping for the cagebird trade is predicted to inflict serious damage on populations.


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