Campo Troupial - Icterus jamacaii
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Mãe-da-lua
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in Itapajé, Ceará,
100 km from Fortaleza.
Presentation
Mammals

The avifauna is listed in
Birds of NE Brazil.
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Threatened species
Many species of NE Brazil are threatened by extinction. Our reserve helps to protect some of them:
Birds of NE Brazil
in Caatinga, Cerrado,
and other habitats
Squirrel Cuckoo
Piaya cayana
Alma-de-gato
Family: Cuculidae

For subspecies, see Hellmayr 1929, p. 435. RPPN Mãe-da-lua.

Synonyms: Cuculus cayanusLINNAEUS 1776;  Piaya cayana cearaeCORY 1915

Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana)
19/07/2008; Mãe-da-lua reserve, Itapajé, Ceará, Brazil. 300 mm f2.8 lens.

Figure 1. The brazilian name "Alma-de-gato" means "Soul-of-the-cat". The name may be related to the cat-like way this bird moves around. The "Soul-of-the-cat" is quite common in the region, and seems to be well adapted to secondary growth caatinga habitat. Sometimes, it even appears close to my house.

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Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana)
19/07/2008; Mãe-da-lua reserve, Itapajé, Ceará, Brazil. 300 mm f2.8 lens.

Figure 2. The Squirrel Cuckoo has a greenish bill and red eyes. The skin around the eye can be red, like here, or greenish (Mata et al. 2006).

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Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana)
Recorded 26/11/2007 in Mãe-da-lua reserve, Itapajé, Ceará, Brazil. © H. Redies

Figure 3. I saw a group of three Squirrel Cuckoos (Piaya cayana) while recording, and at least 2 of them are vocalizing here (Q1, Q2). I could hear these calls during a long time (maybe 10-15 minutes), again and again, while the group was moving around my hide and the closeby waterhole. The call must have some social meaning, it is certainly not an alarm signal, nor is fighting involved.

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