Monday, 29 September 2014

Collared palm-thrush

Cichladusa arquata

Photo by Ian White (Flickr)

Common name:
collared palm-thrush (en); tordo-das-palmeiras-de-colar (pt); cichladuse à collier (fr); zorzal-palmero acollarado (es); morgenrötel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

This species is found from south-eastern D.R. Congo, northern Tanzania and south-eastern Kenya, through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and into north-eastern South Africa, northern Botswana and south-eastern Angola.

These birds are 17-18 cm long and weigh 28-38 g.

The collared palm-thrush is mostly found in dry tropical forests and scrublands with palm trees, such as such as Pheonix, Borassus and Hyphaene, most often near water. They also use dry savannas, plantations and rural gardens.

They feed mainly on insects and other arthropods, such as bugs, beetles, grasshoppers, cockroaches, earwigs, termites, ants and centipedes. They also take small frogs.

Collared palm-thrushes breed in October-May. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of
a semi-circular or truncated cone-shaped structure, made of mud and grass roots, and lined with finer grass or fibres stripped from palm leaves. It is typically attached to a hanging palm leaf, or at the point where the palm frond connects to the trunk, or sometimes on dragon trees Dracaena or even on buildings. The female lays 2-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for about 13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 20 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as rather local and confined to its specific habitat, although often common within that habitat. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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