Rosybreasted longclaw

Macronyx ameliae

TAXONOMY

Macronyx ameliae de Tarragon, 1845, Durban, South Africa. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Pink-throated longclaw; French: Sentinelle à gorge rose; German: Rubinkehlpieper; Spanish: Bisbita de Pecho Rosado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

7.5-8 in (19-20 cm); 1.1-1.4 oz (30-40 g). Mottled upperparts with orange-red upper throat, blackish band across lower throat, and rosy breast.

DISTRIBUTION

Southwestern Kenya, north and southwest Tanzania, west to Angola and south to Botswana, Zimbabwe and coastal east South Africa.

HABITAT

Short or tussocky grassland, usually permanently or seasonally moist and near marshes or open water.

BEHAVIOR

Territorial when breeding; normally in pairs or in family groups. Usually shy. Male sings from top of bush or in song flight. Some movements in relation to seasonal rainfall.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Takes insects, sometimes small frogs. Forages in grass or on bare ground; sometimes catches prey in flight.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous; breeds mainly during or after rains. Nest is a cup of grass, lined rootlets or grass, placed in grass tuft; built by female. Lays two to four eggs; incubation is 13-14 days by female. Young leave nest after about 16 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened in South Africa, where range has contracted significantly through loss of coastal habitat; threatened by habitat loss in coastal south Mozambique.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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