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ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.
Fiscal Flycatcher

Fiscal Flycatcher (Sigelus silens)

Small; black and white; belly pale greyish; white wingstripe and spot; bill slim; tail black with 2 rectangular white windows. Arid scrub and dry savanna of S Africa. Common resident.

Measurements: Length 17-20 cm; wing (24 male) 91-95,6-98, (8 female) 87-89,8-93; tail (32) 73-89; tarsus (32) 21-24,5; culmen (32) 13,5-17,5. Weight (12 male) 22,9-25,6-31 g, (10 female) 23,6-26,9-37 g, (163 unsexed) 21-26,2-34,7 g.
Bare Parts: Iris reddish brown; bill, legs and feet black.
Identification: Large (about robin-sized). Breeding: above jet black (male) or sooty blackish brown (female) to below eye; bold white wingstripe; tail black with large rectangular white windows (conspicuous in flight; diagnostic); below white or pale greyish white; similar to Fiscal Shrike but tail rounded (not longish and graduated), bill slender (not stout and hooked), head more slender; does not perch with tail held sideways as does Fiscal Shrike. Nonbreeding: Above slaty grey; face mask black; below greyish white; otherwise as breeding plumage. Immature: Above reddish brown, spotted buffy white; below off-white, spotted dark brown.
Voice: Song shorter or longer phrases of mixed thin sibilant and richer piping notes, tsip tsip chuk tweeu-kik-rrr, tswippy tswip trree-up-up, tsippy tsip twee-up, etc.; imitates other birdcalls; sharp skisk and kirr-kirr-kirr alarm calls.
Distribution: Most of S Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, extreme se Botswana and extreme s Mozambique.
Status: Common resident subject to much local movement in winter; winter visitor to lowland KwaZulu-Natal and Mozambique, May to September.
Thornveld, bushveld, semi-arid scrub, karoo, riverine bush, small dense patches of trees or bushes (including exotic species) in scrub and grassland, gardens in smaller towns and suburbs
My Garden, Randburg
Date taken
25 October 2004
Scientific name
Sigelus silens
Equipment used
Canon EOS 20D, Canon 100~400 L IS USM
Yes, we are lucky in this regard and probably get about 50 to 60 species during the year, perhaps even more. I just did not try recording them before now. I am slowly trying to build a garden database now. They kick up such a racket before sunrise (4-5 am) its quite hard to get a decent nights sleep.

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