Vaal River, Transvaal, South Africa.
Previously treated as conspecific with M. apiata. Geographical differences broadly clinal; further study may lead to several races being subsumed, especially in N of range (where only small series of specimens obtained). Birds from W Botswana (Ngamiland and Kalahari) described as race kalaharica, but not consistently different from damarensis. Nominate formerly listed as rufipilea, but this name is apparently indeterminate. Name hewitti is a junior synonym of nominate, as is name deserti of damarensis#R. Five subspecies currently recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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