Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-headed Flufftail (Sarothrura lugens)


Taxonomy

French: Râle à tête rousse German: Ugallaralle Spanish: Polluela cabecirroja
Other common names: Long-toed Flufftail, Lynes’s Flufftail (lynesi)
Taxonomy:

Crex lugeus

[sic] Böhm

, 1884,

Ugalla District, Tanzania

.

Proposed race modesta (Cameroon) inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. l. lugens (Böhm, 1884) – Cameroon to DRCongo, Rwanda and W Tanzania.
  • S. l. lynesi C. H. B. Grant & Mackworth-Praed, 1934 – C Angola and Zambia; presumably this race recorded in Malawi#R.
  • Specimen from Nyanga, Zimbabwe, is immature female of S. rufa; recent sight and sound reports from Zimbabwe probably also referable to S. rufa.

    Descriptive notes

    c. 15 cm. Tail even longer than in S. rufa and S. boehmi, often fluffed out. Male has rich chestnut on head down to hindneck and malar region (darker and... read more

    Voice

    Poorly known. Song of male a series of moaning, rather guttural hoots “whooo”, each... read more

    Habitat

    Patches of savanna in lowland forest; grass-grown marshes in savanna; lakeside marshes; rank grass... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little known. Stomach of adults contained insects and seeds; of a chick, small black ants.

    Breeding

    Apparently breeds during wet season, at least in S of range. Laying months, derived from young birds and collected females containing eggs... read more

    Movements

    Unknown; probably entirely sedentary, with perhaps very local displacement outside breeding season... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon, but locally common in NE Zambia, where 5–6 birds singing in radius of c. 450 m. Has been described as a... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Chestnut-headed Flufftail (Sarothrura lugens). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/53572 on 28 April 2017).