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Bush Blackcap

From Opus

Photo © by peterdayHimeville, South Africa, January 2019
Photo © by peterday
Himeville, South Africa, January 2019

Alternative name: Blackcap Mountain Babbler

Lioptilus nigricapillus


[edit] Identification

Length 16-18 cm, mass 30 g
Adult: Head is capped black to mantle and below the eye. The rest of the upperparts are brown and the underparts are pale grey. The bill is orange-pink, the eyes are brown and the legs and feet are pale pink.

[edit] Distribution

Eastern South Africa and western Swaziland. Populations breeding at high altitudes migrate to lower altitudes in winter.

[edit] Taxonomy

The only species in the genus Lioptilus. Affinities uncertain; possibly related to the Pseudoalcippe and Kupeornis babblers.
Clements now places this species in the genus Sylvia.
This is a monotypic species[1].

[edit] Habitat

Forest patches, forest margins and scrubby vegetation including short woody Leucosidea and Buddleja thickets.

[edit] Behaviour

Often solitary. Inconspicuous unless calling.

[edit] Diet

Food is mainly fruit, but includes insects.

[edit] Breeding

The nest is a cup built by both sexes using plant material, usually within 4 m (12 feet) of the ground. Two eggs are laid between October and February.

[edit] Vocalisation

Song is distinctive; loud and melodious. Generally only heard in breeding season.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from
  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

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