Saturday, 2 June 2012

Red-faced crombec

Sylvietta whytii

Photo by Glen Tepke (Mango Verde)

Common name:
red-faced-crombec (en); rabicurta-de-faces-vermelhas (pt); crombec à face rousse (fr); sylvieta de cara roja (es); rotzügel-sylvietta (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

This African species is found in East Africa, from southern Ethiopia and Sudan, through Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and into Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

These birds are 8-9 cm long and weigh 9-11 g.

The red-faced crombec is mostly found in sub-tropical and tropical dry scrublands and miombo woodlands, but also in other dry forests, sub-tropical and tropical moist mountain forests and in heavily degraded patches of former forests.

They mainly feed on invertebrates, plucking scale insects, caterpillars, spiders and small worms from twigs and branches.

Red-faced crombecs breed in August-December. The nest is a hanging pouch made of fine bark strips, dead leaves, lichens, seed pods and flowers, bound together with spider webs. It is typically suspended between a forked twig on the edge of a bare tree. There the female lays 1-3 eggs, which she mostly incubates alone for 13-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 14-17 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as locally fairly common. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to the destruction of miombo woodlands for agriculture.

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