Little rush warbler

Bradypterus baboecala

SUBFAMILY

Sylviinae

TAXONOMY

Bradypterus baboecala Vieillot, 1817. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: African bush-warbler, African sedge warbler; French: Bouscarle des marais; German: Sumpfbuschsänger; Spanish: Ruiseñor Africano.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.9-7.5 in (15-19 cm); 0.4-0.6 oz (11-17 g). Medium-sized warbler with dark brown upperparts, buffy flanks and breast, whitish underparts, whitish throat streaked or spotted with dark brown, and pale eye line. Tail wide and rounded.

DISTRIBUTION

Sub-Saharan Africa. Widespread, but local in the northern tropics; common throughout much of the south.

HABITAT

Reedbeds and grasses, near marshes, lagoons, sewage ponds, watercourses.

BEHAVIOR

Found singly or in pairs. Reluctant to fly. Song an accelerating series of chips, with the tempo of a "bouncing ball." Males defend territory with song and song-flight. Generally sedentary.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages for insects. Also known to take ant eggs.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Nest is a tight, bulky cup of grasses and reeds, situated in a tussock and supported by sedge or rush leaves over water. The 2-3 eggs are incubated 12-14 days. Fledging period is 12-13 days, both sexes feed young.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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