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Bokmakierie - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies
Photo by max1
Cape Town, South Africa, October-2017
Telophorus zeylonus


22–24 cm (8½-9½ in), mass 48-76 g

  • Grey crown and nape
  • Olive-green back and upper wing coverts
  • Yellow eyebrow, chin and throat
  • Black gorget and throat border
  • Yellow belly


Photo by charelli
De Hoop Nature Reserve, South Africa, December 2015

Southern Africa: South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, southern and north-western Namibia, coastal south-western Angola, extreme southern Botswana. There is an isolated population in the Chimanimani Mountains on the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.



Photo by Wiganlad
Gondwana Reserve, Mossel Bay, South Africa, October 2014

There are four subspecies[1]:

  • T. z. zeylonus from South Africa (except for the north-west), Lesotho and Swaziland;
  • T. z. thermophilus from north-western South Africa, Namibia south of 21°S, and extreme southern Botswana, is paler than nominate;
  • T. z. phanus from north-western Namibia and coastal Angola south of Benguela, is paler and has a stouter bill than T. z. thermophilus;
  • T. z. restrictus from the Chimanimani Mountains, is darker above than nominate, with greyer flanks and a broader black gorget.


Shrubland (karoo and fynbos), grassland with scattered shrubs, gardens.


Usually in pairs or groups of three.


Monogamous and territorial. The nest is a compact cup using a variety of fine plant material, usually well concealed and within 6 m of the ground. Two to five eggs are laid year round, but mostly July to October.


Forages mainly on the ground, close to cover, for invertebrates (grasshoppers, stick insects etc), reptiles, amphibians, small birds and fruit.


  1. 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/
  2. 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
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2014)

Recommended Citation

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