Monday, 16 April 2012

Kalahari scrub-robin

Cercotrichas paena

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
Kalahari scrub-robin (en); rouxinol-do-mato-do-Kalahari (pt); agrobate du Kalahari (fr); alzacola del Kalahari (es); Kalahariheckensänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

This African species is found from south-western Angola, through Namibia and Botswana and into northern South Africa and Zimbabwe.

These birds are 14-16 cm long and weigh 20 g.

The Kalahari scrub-robin is mostly found in scrublands and dry savannas, often preferring patches of bare ground. They are also found in rural gardens and farm land. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.200 m.

They hunt for insects and other arthropods on the ground, taking ants, termites, beetles, butterflies and caterpillars, bugs, grasshoppers, mantids and spiders.

Kalahari scrub-robins can breed all year round, depending on rainfall. The nest is built by the female, consisting of a compact cup, made of dry grasses, leaves and twigs, lined with tendrils, rootlets and animal hair. It is placed on a scrub near the ground, or occasionally in a man-made objects such as a tin. There the female lays 2-4 eggs, which she incubates alone for 12-13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 11-14 days after hatching, but only become fully independent 4-6 weeks later.

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

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