Ampelis phoenicea Latham, 1790, Gambia. OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Echenilleur a epaulettes rouges; German: Mohrenraupenfresser; Spanish: Oruguero de Hombros Rojos.
8 in (20 cm); 0.8-1.3 oz (23-35.5 g). Male black with red or orange shoulder-patch; female heavily barred below.
South Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia east to Ethiopia and south to north DRC, Uganda, and west Kenya.
Bushes and small trees in forest patches, secondary growth, wooded grassland, and thickets in savanna.
Usually occurs singly or in pairs; unobtrusive and mainly silent. Flight is undulating and low between trees. Sedentary or nomadic. In Nigeria and Sudan, it moves north to breed during rains.
Eats caterpillars and other insects, especially Orthoptera and Hemiptera. Forages mainly by gleaning from leaves and branches; also takes prey on ground and in flycatching sallies.
Breeds May-September, during rains. Monogamous. Nest is a small, shallow cup of moss, lichens, and spider webs, and is well concealed in fork of leafless tree. Lays two eggs.
Widespread and uncommon to locally common; not threatened. There is no information on effects of habitat loss.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦
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