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A MUNDANE SOOTY-BLACK BIRD IS UNIQUELY TRANSFORMED BY A PAIR OF VIBRANT YELLOW PANTALOONS!

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A rather mundane sooty-gray bird is uniquely transformed by a pair of yellow pantaloons.

MEET THE YELLOW-THIGHED BRUSHFINCH

The yellow-thighed brushfinch (Atlapetes tibialis) is a dark finch with a long tail (7,8/8,5 cm) and conspicuous bright yellow thighs giving the bird its name. The adult male has slate-grey upperparts with darker, mostly blackish wings and tail. His underparts are slate-grey too, with some individuals having an olive-green wash on his breast. The thighs are bright yellow, contrasting strongly with the dark body plumage. The head is deep black, except for the slate-grey rear ear-coverts down to the lower throat. However, the slate-grey color may sometimes extend to the entire ear-coverts, cheek, chin, and throat. The pointed bill is black. The eyes are rusty brown. Legs and feet are dusky.

Males and females look very similar, however, she has a slightly longer tail.

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The juvenile resembles adult birds, however, their upperparts are duller in appearance.

This bird is endemic to the highlands of Costa Rica and western Panama.

The Yellow-thighed Finch prefers to inhabit primary and degraded humid mountain forests where it is relatively common in the understorey. It can also be found in secondary growth, ravines with bamboos, adjacent shady pastures, and bushy clearings.

Within its habitat, the Yellow-thighed Finch feeds on a variety of insects and spiders caught within the vegetation and off the ground. It will also take some berries and seeds, though the seeds are not always ingested. This species also takes nectar from tubular flowers by pinching the corollas of Jacobinia Aurea and Salvia nervata to obtain nectar.

The breeding season takes place from March to May in Costa Rica. A bulky cup-shaped nest made of dried bamboo leaves and dry grass is built by the female. The cup is lined with fine plant fibers or bamboo leaves. It is placed between 50 centimeters and 4,5 meters above the ground, in coarse grasses, bamboo, or densely foliaged tree, often in ravines covered with vegetation, especially bamboos. The female lays 2 white to pale blue eggs within, which are covered with dark markings. She incubates alone during 12-14 days, and the young fledge 12 days after hatching. The role of the male during this period appears to be minimal, except for singing.

The Yellow-thighed Finch is a restricted-range species, described as “common” to “fairly common,” especially in the highlands within the range.

YOU CAN WATCH THIS BIRD RIGHT HERE IN THE VIDEO BELOW:

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