French: Bergeronnette pie German: Witwenstelze Spanish: Lavandera africana
Other common names:
#R, Lower Orange River, South Africa
Subspecies and Distribution
M. a. vidua
Sundevall, 1850 – E Gambia, SE Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone and S Mali E to South Sudan and NW & E Kenya, S to Angola, N & E Botswana and E South Africa (S to Eastern Cape); also lower Nile Valley (S from S Egypt), and discontinuously N & E Sudan, W Eritrea, NW, NE & S Ethiopia, and S Somalia.
M. a. aguimp
Temminck, 1820 – R Orange and R Vaal drainages in S Namibia, C South Africa and Lesotho.
20 cm; male 22–33 g, female 23–30 g. Male nominate race in breeding plumage has broad white supercilium from bill base to well behind eye, squarish white patch on... read more
Song a sustained melodious series of whistling and piping notes, “weet-weet, wip-wip-wip,... read more
In humid tropical regions occurs near human habitations, as at farms, in villages, on roofs and... read more
Food and feeding
Diet includes wide variety of small terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates, mainly insects. Recorded items include adult and larval flies (... read more
Starts to breed prior to rains and continues into wet season: mostly Feb–May in W Africa, Oct–Apr in Nigeria, Aug and Dec... read more
Largely resident; some movements, but not fully understood. Much local movement thought to take... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened. Common and widespread in much of range, and generally tame and confiding; common to uncommon in W Africa. Locally common in S Sudan, but absent in... read more
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