Swallow-tailed and Palkachupa Cotinga

PAS-Coti Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris)  ©WikiC

PAS-Coti Swallow-tailed Cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris)

While working on the latest I.O.C. Version 4.4 update (which is now complete), this bird caught my attention.

Wikipedia has this in their article about this neat bird: “The swallow-tailed cotinga (Phibalura flavirostris) is a species of passerine bird. As suggested by its common name, it has traditionally been considered a member of the cotinga family. Following the recent removal of several members from this family (now placed in Tityridae), the placement of this aberrant species is unclear. It is therefore considered incertae sedis by SACC.”

What this means that in a recent previous update, they took this bird out of the Cotinga family and placed it in an Uncertain Family holding place “Incertae Sedis” by itself. Now with this update, they put this one back in with the Cotingas, but have given it the “Phibalura” genus name. (Okay, so what is so interesting about that?)

Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) ©©Benjamin-Skolnik_U

Palkachupa Cotinga (Phibalura boliviana) ©©Benjamin-Skolnik_U

Continuing Wikipedia: “Currently, it is monotypic within the genus Phibalura, but it has been suggested that the taxon boliviana should be considered a separate species, the Bolivian swallow-tailed cotinga or Palkachupa cotinga (P. boliviana). The nominate taxon (P. f. flavirostris) is found in Atlantic forest in south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and Argentina (Misiones only). The taxon boliviana, which only was rediscovered in 2000 (after 98 years without any records), is restricted to the vicinity of Apolo in Bolivia. Both populations are threatened by habitat loss.”

“Eighty percent of the Palkachupa Cotinga’s habitat has been destroyed by clearing and burning forest for firewood and pasture; unfortunately, this destruction is ongoing. Parts of the cotinga’s former range are now completely treeless. Nesting success in remaining habitat is low; predation by jays and severe weather are the biggest causes of breeding failure.” (American Bird Conservancy)

It appears that the sub-species of the Swallow-tailed, the now added Palkachupa disappeared from sight for over 98 years. I find that amazing, but considering where it lives, is understandable. That brings to mind some promises from these bird’s Creator.

1) He promised to provide for them. The Lord takes care of many things without man’s help.

Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:30 NKJV)

And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled.’ (Deuteronomy 11:15 NKJV)

They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. (Psalms 104:11-13 NKJV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV)

2) We can learn from them – to trust their Creator who knows exactly where they are. We or the bird may be out of sight of man, but never from God. The Bible says the Lord will never leave us.

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?’ (Job 35:11 NKJV)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)

“You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created.”(Revelation 4:11 NKJV)


Articles about the Swallow-tailed

Birds of the World



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