Silverbird

Empidornis semipartitus

SUBFAMILY

Muscicapinae

TAXONOMY

Empidornis semipartita Rüppell, 1840. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Gobemouche argenté; German: Silberschnäpper; Spanish: Papamoscas Plateado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The body length is about 7.5 in (18 cm). The sexes are colored similarly, with a light silvery grayish blue back, bright rufus

underparts, wings gray above and orange beneath, and silvery markings on the head and tail.

DISTRIBUTION

An endemic (or local) species of the highlands of east-central Africa, including parts of Ethiopia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.

HABITAT

Occurs in dry and semi-arid forest and woods with scattered large trees, especially acacias, in areas as high as 9,050 ft (2,300 m).

BEHAVIOR

A nonmigratory species. Pairs of breeding birds defend a territory. The song is a soft, rich, and warbling.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Hunts from a perch in the canopy for flying insects. Also swoops down to take insects from the ground. Usually returns to its original perch.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Builds a dome-shaped nest of grass and thorny twigs lined with finer fibers, or may used an old nest of a weaver-finch. Lays two or three olive-green eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

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

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

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

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