Saturday, 8 January 2011

Yellow-throated longclaw

Macronyx croceus

Photo by David Nowell (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
yellow-throated longclaw (en); sentinela-de-garganta-amarela (pt); sentinelle à gorge jaune (fr); bisbita gorgigualdo (es); gelbkehlpieper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Motacillidae

This African species is found from Senegal and Gambia eastwards to Cameroon and the southern Central African Republic, southern Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia then southwards to north-west Angola, Zaire, Burundi and Tanzania. From there it extends southwards to eastern South Africa.

The yellow-throated longclaw is 20-22 cm long and weighs up to 64 g.

It generally prefers medium to tall wet or flooded grasslands, but may also be found in dry savannas and sandy shores.

The yellow-throated longclaw forages on the ground, taking invertebrates from grass. They mostly eat grasshoppers, moths, beetles, mantids, ants, millipedes and mollusks.

They breed in September-March, with a peak in November-January. The female builds the nest, a thick-walled cup of coarse grass blades and stems, lined with fine grass and rootlets. It is typically concealed in grass. The female lays 1-4 eggs, which she mostly incubates alone for 13-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents, leaving the nest after about 16-17 days, when they are able to run fast but have yet to fly properly.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
Although the species is described as scarce to rare in most its range, the very large breeding range and the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats justifies the species is not considered threatened at present.

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