Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sombre greenbul

Andropadus importunus

Photo by Carmelo López (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
sombre greenbul (en); tuta-sombria (pt); bulbul importun (fr); bulbul sombrío (es); schlichtbülbül (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Pycnonotidae

This species is found in eastern Africa, from Kenya, through eastern Tanzania and Mozambique and into Zimbabwe and eastern and southern South Africa.

These birds are 15-18 cm long and weigh around 26 g.

They are mostly found in dry scrublands, usually near the coast, but can also be found in dry savanna, forest, moist scrubland, rivers, bogs, marshes, agricultural land and urban areas.

Sombre greenbuls mostly eat fruits, namely those of Azima tetracantha, Carissa, Cussonia, Ficus, Hippobromus pauciflorus, Rhus, Scutia myrtina, Sideroxylon inerme, Viscum and Lantana camara. They also eat succulent leaves, flowers, buds and nectar of Aloe and sometimes hunt insects and snails.

These birds breed in September-April. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of an open, flimsy cup made of rootlets, twigs, grass and other plant material. It is usually placed in a fork of or at the end of a tree or bush branch, 1-4 m above the ground. There she lays 1-3 white eggs with brown markings, which she incubates alone for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed and brooded by both parents and fledge 10-14 days after hatching, but only become fully independent a few weeks later.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The sombre greenbul has a very large breeding range and is reported to be abundant along the coast and common inland. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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