Bernieria crossleyi Grandidier, 1870, Madagascar. Monotypic. Position within family unclear.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Mystacornis; German: Mystacornis.
6.3 in (16 cm). Compact-bodied, with relatively long bill. Sexes strongly dimorphic. Male distinguished by black throat and gray crown, while female's white throat and brown crown gives it a markedly different appearance. Both sexes have a broad white malar stripe ("moustache"), far more noticeable in male, as well as black band through eye, and small white spot above eye. Mantle, wings, and tail brown, belly gray, off-white under-tail coverts. Eyes dark.
Understory of primary evergreen humid forests. BEHAVIOR
Found either individually or in family units. Adult males do not tolerate the presence of others, and respond aggressively to others' vocalizations. (Unlike many other babblers, fledged juveniles do not resemble adults, but are instead uniform rufous.)
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Walks around on forest floor, in fairly open places, looking for insects.
Monogamous. Cup-shaped nest built from twigs, close to the ground.
Not threatened, but habitat dependent. Range includes several reserves.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS A target species for ecotourists. ♦
Was this article helpful?