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Brown-crowned Tchagra - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 14:13, 13 September 2017 by Wintibird (talk | contribs) (range description, reference updated)
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T. a. damarensis
Photo by Layzeboy
Mokolodi Nature Reserve, Gaborone, Botswana, 2007
Tchagra australis


Length 17·5–20 cm (6¾-8 in); mass 29-46 g.
Bill is black in adult, paler in juveniles

Similar species

The Black-crowned Tchagra is larger and has a black crown; the Southern Tchagra is also larger, lacks the thin black stripe above the eyebrow, has a darker brown crown, and lacks the dark stripe on the wing coverts; the female Marsh Tchagra has a black crown and a shorter white eyebrow.

T. a. australis
Photo by Alan Manson
iMfolosi Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, September 2009


Africa south of the Sahara; widespread between about 8°N and about 30°S, although absent from the central Congo Basin and arid zones in the north-east and south-west.



Nine subspecies have been recognised, based on variation in the colour of the underparts and in size[1]:


Photo by patricklhoir
Camp Kassai, Bangui, Central African Republic, November 2016

Thickets within woodlands; forest edges; scrubby vegetation at higher altitudes; also fallow fields and gardens.



Their diet consists mostly of a variety of insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars and moths.


The nest is a shallow, thin-walled cup of stems, roots and fibres, bound with spider web; lined with fine rootlets; usually low down in mixed bush and tall grass, or up to 3 m above ground in fork of bush or tree. Clutch: 2-4 eggs laid September to March in southern Africa. Eggs: White or pinkish white, spotted and blotched with brown and grey concentrated at thick end. Incubation: About 14-16 days by both sexes, mostly by female. Nestling: 14-16 days; fed by both parents; young remain with parents for at least 5 months after leaving nest.


In flight display rises with loud bursts of quivering wings, just above vegetation, prrr prrr prrr prrr, followed by gliding descent with spread tail and about 15 melodious double whistles dropping in tone but rising in volume, pa-reeu pa-reeu pa-reeu, etc.; sharp chirrp, chirrp alarm and anxiety calls.


  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. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved November 2016)

Recommended Citation

External Links