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A Slideshow of our Birds in Brasil

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

John Mudd - Master Builder and Architect of Homes

This clever adobe house builder is called John Mudd (João-de-Barro) in Brasil. He is all over southern Brasil and Argentina. He is the National Bird of Argentina.

John Mudd builds amazing nests of mud that he uses for one season only. Next season he builds a new nest and someone else occupies the old one.

He is a Furnarius rufus or in Spanish - Rufous Hornero. In English he is called an ovenbird because his nests are built like ovens. He is the colour of Brasilian Mud, hence the name.

John Mudd is a pretty bird about the size of a female robin.

Here is the Master Builder and Architect of Homes.

John Mudd is a small bird about 4-5 inches tall.

Here is one walking along a wall near our house in Águas da Prata.

Here is his mate walking along the ground looking for building materials, or their dinner of insects and seeds. Because of his colour he is difficult to see here.

We have many John Mudds in our neighbourhood. They build their nests in trees, on top of utility poles or similar locations. They sometimes like a location so well they come back to it and build another house on top of last year's house. These nests have two compartments and are extremely strong. The opening faces away from the prevailing winds for protection.

This nest is on a utility pole in the Praça da Bandeiras, about one block from our house.

Here is a closer look at it. This is a very common site throughout Brasil.

His nearest neighbour is about 50 meters away in a tree. The nest is built with an interior wall to protect the nestlings. The construction is very solid and difficult to destroy.

This is the builder of the house in the previous photo.

John Mudd in a tree.

This is a picture from an old postcard showing a luxury condominium. But John Mudd only lives in the last unit. All others will be occupied by different birds, not John Mudds.

Check out these videos on the website "The Internet Bird Collection". See their houses and hear their song.

Internet Bird Collection - Video 1

Internet Bird Collection - Video 2

Also check out this entry in Leaves of Grass Blog for photos and more information about John Mudd.

Leaves of Grass Blog

John Mudd now has a symbolic house on our verandah complete with tiny Mr. and Mrs. Mudd. It is quite cute and made by local artisans.

Here is a collection of John Mudd houses in a local florist's shop

Mrs. Joan Mudd resting in the tree.

She has the appearance of being pregnant with a big belly.

Here is she in the tree near the house.

This is a baby out for a walk, getting ready for its first flight.

Baby crouches to take off.

The first flight was for about two meters. So now the world has become larger for the baby.

Photos by Urso Branco

1 comment:

  1. I have recently just learned that this bird John Mudd works hard everyday except for one day. On that day he sings on Saturday.