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Ashy Flycatcher - BirdForum Opus

Photo by safariranger
Lower Sabie, Kruger National Park, South Africa, May 2007

Alternative name: Ashy Alseonax

Muscicapa caerulescens

Identification

14-16 cm. This is a pale grey or blue-grey flycatcher of forest margins. The black loral line and the short white supraloral streak which joins the narrow white eye-ring are good diagnostic features for this bird.

Distribution

Sub-Saharan Africa: Guinea to south-eastern Somalia, Angola and eastern South Africa.

Subspecies cinereola
Photo by Morph
Keekorok Lodge, Masai Mara, Kenya. Aug 2007.

Taxonomy

There are 6 subspecies:2

  • M. c. nigrorum
  • M. c. brevicauda
  • M. c. cinereola
  • M. c. impavida
  • M. c. vulturna
  • M. c. caerulescens

Placed in genus Fraseria by Clements.

Habitat

Dry and moist forests (where it prefers forest edge and clearings) and moist savanna.

Behaviour

The diet comprises mainly insects; hawked or taken on the ground. Also seen eating small fruit and small geckos.

Breeding

Monogamous and territorial. Both sexes build a cup-shaped nest using bark, grass, moss and rootlets (sometimes spiders web); it is placed in a shallow cavity in a tree or rock-face, or at a narrow fork between branches. Two to three cream, finely spotted eggs are laid and incubated for about 14 days. Parasitism by Klaas's Cuckoo has been recorded.

References

  1. Answers.com. 2008. Animal Encyclopedia: Ashy flycatcher. Downloaded 27 December 2008.
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  3. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  4. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154

Recommended Citation

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