Friday, 23 December 2011

White-browed robin-chat

Cossypha heuglini

Photo by Ian White (Flickriver)
Common name:
white-browed robin-chat (en); pisco-de-Heuglin (pt); cossyphe de Heuglin (fr); cosifa de Heuglin (es); weißbrauenrötel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

This African species is found from Chad and Sudan through southern D.R. Congo, Tanzania, Angola and Zambia, and down to South Africa.

These birds are 20 cm long and weigh 29-44 g.

White-browed robin-chats are mostly found in riverine forests with patchy canopy and dense evergreen thickets, shady trees and scrubs along lakesides and Acacia woodlands on flood plains. They also occupy thickets along the borders of open habitats, as well as suburban parks and gardens.

These birds feed on insects and other invertebrates, especially beetles, ants, wasps, caterpillars, moths, grasshoppers, crickets, flies, spiders and centipedes.

White-browed robin-chats breed in August-January. They are monogamous and each pair builds an open nest cup, made of dead leaves and twigs and lined with rootlets, leaf midribs or very fine twigs. The nest is typically placed in a hollow in a tree trunk, among the branches of a scrub or among roots under the overhang of a riverbank. There the female lays 2-3 eggs, which she incubates alone for 14-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-17 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 4 weeks later.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as very common throughout its range except at the fringes of this range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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