Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Griseotyrannus aurantioatrocristatus and Fire in the Cerrado

So, just in case you're wondering what "griseotyrannus" means...a gray tyrant-flycatcher, right?

And then "aurantioatrocristatus?"

This Crowned Slaty Flycatcher turned around and faced downwind in the hot afternoon breeze for just a second, showing me something I'd never seen. This was once the longest scientific name of any bird, but it was decided that this bird was in many ways much like Variegated Flycatcher, so now its official name is Empidonomus aurantioatrocristatus. Still a mouthful, but it's nice to see the gold-and-black crest embodied in the species name.

These past couple of days I've been doing some light birding, exploring, and catching up between two Mato Grosso tours, though today I used up much of the day driving back to Cuiabá, though miles of construction sites (my bus driver last week called Cuiabá a giant armadillo dig), and exchanged my rental car for one that actually works. On my way back to Chapada dos Guimarães I stopped in some recently burned Cerrado woodland and came up with a few nice things.

This Coal-crested Finch is a rather missable bird here (indeed, I missed it on the tour I just led, but we had two days of cold gales from a cold front to deal with).

Things were greening up nicely, as all of the plants here are highly adapted to fire. This is Anemopaegma arvense, family Bignoniaceae.

This sedge is obviously quite happy to have been burned.

This belongs to the genus Chamaesyce, formerly lumped in with Euphorbia. We have several of these in North America, known as sand mats.

I think this pea might be in the genus Desmodium, some of which we also have in North America.

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