Thursday, 3 January 2013


Telophorus zeylonus

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
bokmakierie (en); boquemaquire (pt); gladiateur bacbakiri (fr); bubú silbón (es); bokmakiri (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family  Malaconotidae

This African species is found in south-western Angola, Namibia, southern Botswana and throughout South Africa.

These birds are 22-23 cm long and weigh around 70 g.

The bokmakierie is mostly, found in open scrublands and savannas, but also in scrubby deserts, plantations, orchards, vineyards and urban gardens and parks.

They are opportunistic, mainly eating insects such as beetles, crickets, grasshoppers, bugs, moths, caterpillars, wasps, ants, flies, antlion larvae, mantids, termite alates and stick insects, but also millipedes, centipedes, snails, spiders, earthworms, lizards, small snakes, chameleons, geckos, frogs, small birds and some fruits and berries.

The bokmakierie breeds all year round. Both sexes build the nest, a cup made of small twigs, leaves, roots, tendrils, grass and bark, usually placed in a dense scrub, concealed by thick vegetation. There the female lays 2-6 greenish-blue eggs with red-brown or lilac blotches, which are incubated by both sexes for 14-19 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 15-21 days after hatching.

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

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