A Suit Of Silvery Gray Is Finished Off Perfectly By A Penetrating Pink Mask Surrounded By An Equally Compelling Black Hood!
A handsome, mostly silvery gray bird is so easily identified by the pinkish base to the bill and pinkish ‘mask’ around its eyes.
MEET THE MASKED TITYRA
The masked tityra (Tityra semifasciata) is a bird about 8 inches in length. It has a thick hooked red bill with a black tip, a black face mask with red around its eyes, a black band on its tail feathers, black flight feathers, and gray legs and feet. The male has a silvery grayish-white body, easily identified from close relatives by a pinkish base to the bill and pinkish ‘mask’ around the eyes.
The female of the species has a brownish-gray body and lacks the streaking over the under- and upperparts that can be seen in the Black-tailed Tityra females.
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The Masked Tityras occur naturally in the forests and woodland areas of Mexico, where they come within 250 miles of the United States border.
Their range then stretches south through Central America to northwestern and central South America, as far south as Paraguay.
These birds prefer to inhabit areas including forest clearings and edges, secondary growth, and other semi-open habitats, such as plantation shade trees.
They are usually seen alone or in pairs, perched conspicuously as they forage for food, mainly dining on medium-sized fruits. Sometimes feeding large insects to their chicks.
During the breeding season, the female usually will use an old woodpecker nest or the crown of a dead palm tree to make the nest. She will then lay up to two eggs on a bed of dry leaves, and she alone will incubate the eggs. She will have two broods per year, and both parents feed the chicks who become fledged when they are two weeks old.
This species is regarded as of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.
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