Monday, 1 November 2010

Black-headed batis

Batis minor

(Photo from Adventure Camps of Tanzania)

Common name:
black-headed batis (en); papa-moscas-de-cabeça-preta (pt); pririt à joues noires (fr); batis carinegro (es); keniaschnäpper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Platysteiridae

An African species, the black-headed batis is present in sub-saharan Africa from Chad, the Central African Republic and Ethiopia in the north, down to Angola and Tanzania.

A small and stout passerine, the black-headed batis has a wingspan of 13-14 cm.

Typically found in sub-tropical or tropical dry forests. Also common in moist savanna and schrubland near lakes and rivers.

The most important component of their diet are insect, although spiders, milipedes and scorpions may also be taken. Amongst the insect prey a number of different types are eaten, including beetles, grasshoppers and other Orthoptera, flies, mosquitoes, wasps, termites and mantises.

This species can be found nesting from May to August. They build a nest on the branches of a thorny bush or tree, often Acacia or Euphorbia. The clutch size if often 2 and both parents feed the chicks until fledging.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The wide breeding range and their widespread abundance suggests no serious threats to this species at present.

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