Capped wheatear

Oenanthe pileata

TAXONOMY

Oenanthe pileata Gmelin, 1789, Cape of Good Hope. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Traquet du Cap; German: Erdschmatzer; Spanish: Collalba Encapotada.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

7.1 in (18 cm); 1.1 oz (32.5 g). Brown upperparts with black tail and rufous-tinged flight feathers. Black crown, bill, cheek, and chest collar. White brow stripe, throat, and breast with rosy-buff belly.

DISTRIBUTION

Africa from Kenya and Angola southwards to the Cape. HABITAT

Dry grassy plains, especially overgrazed or burnt areas with a few bushes or termite mounds.

BEHAVIOR

Solitary but often common, scattered over open ground, perching on small mounds or hopping over short grass; wags tail and flicks wings, bobs on landing after low, fast flight.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Insects, especially ants, also flies, beetles, locusts, termites, and caterpillars.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous, territorial, nesting in hole in ground or termite mound; nest of straw, grass, and leaves; three to four or six eggs, incubation not established.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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