Chestnut wattleeye

Dyaphorophyia castanea

SUBFAMILY

Platysteirinae

TAXONOMY

Dyaphorophyia castanea Fraser, 1843. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Gobemouche caronculé châtain; German: WeissbürzelLappenschnapper; Spanish: Ojicarunculado Castaño.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The body length is about 4 in (10-11 cm). The head is relatively large, the tail extremely short, and the wings short and

rounded. The iris is dark brown, and there is a gray patch of bare skin (an eye-wattle) around the eye. The male is colored glossy black above, with a white rump and undersides except for a black band across the breast. The female is a duller brown-black with a gray head, white chin and belly, and sides of head and chest chestnut.

DISTRIBUTION

A widespread, nonmigratory species of tropical, central, western Africa.

HABITAT

Occurs in lowland, humid, primary and mature secondary tropical and montane forest, including flooded forest. It occurs in relatively shrubby and liana-dense habitats. It occurs as high as about 5,900 ft (1,800 m)

BEHAVIOR

A nonmigratory species that occurs in pairs or as small family groups. Breeding birds defend a territory. The song is a series of simple notes.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Searches actively or from a perch for insects in the lower canopy. Insects are gleaned from foliage and also caught in flight.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Builds a small cup-shaped nest in a fork of a branch. Lays one or two, glossy blue-green eggs that are incubated by the female for 17 days. Pairs are monogamous but their immature progeny help them with their breeding effort.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. An endemic species that is locally abundant in parts of its range.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

None known, except for the economic benefits of bird-watching. ♦

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