Friday, 1 August 2014

White-tailed crested-flycatcher

Elminia albonotata

Photo by André Wiertz (Oiseaux)

Common name:
white-tailed crested-flycatcher (en); papa-moscas-de-cauda-branca (pt); elminie à queue frangée (fr); elminia coliblanca (es); berghaubenschnäpper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

This species is found in East Africa, from Kenya, Uganda and eastern D.R. Congo south to eastern Zimbabwe and central Mozambique.

These birds are 13-15 cm long and weigh about 5-11 g.

The white-tailed crested-flycatcher is mostly found in moist tropical forests in mountainous areas, but also use forests at lower altitudes and moist scrublands. They are present at altitudes of 350-2.700 m.

They hunt small insects by gleaning the foliage and hawking aerially, namely taking ants, flies and moths.

These birds breed in May-December. The female builds the nest alone, consisting of a cup pointed at the base, made of woven green moss secured with spider webs. It is typically placed in a fork of a sapling or scrub or weed, usually 1-2 m above ground. There she lays 2-3 eggs which she incubates alone for about 17 days while the male brings her food. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 12 days after hatching, but only become fully independent at the end of the breeding season.

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

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