Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Rosy-throated Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae)


French: Sentinelle à gorge rose German: Rubinkehlpieper Spanish: Bisbita gorjirrosado
Other common names: Rosy-breasted Longclaw

Macronyx ameliæ


, 1845,

Durban, South Africa


Validity of races doubted by some authors, who prefer to treat species as monotypic. Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. a. wintoni Sharpe, 1891 – C & SW Kenya (C highlands, L Victoria basin, and Masai Mara) and N Tanzania (S to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, E to L Manyara and Ardai and Sanya Plains).
  • M. a. altanus Clancey, 1966 – E & S Angola (E plateau), SE DRCongo and extreme SW Tanzania S to NE Namibia, N Botswana (Okavango Delta, Linyanti Swamp and Chobe floodplain), extreme NW Mozambique and extreme N & C Malawi (R Songwe mouth, and Lilongwe area); also on highveld of NE & C Zimbabwe.
  • M. a. ameliae Tarragon, 1845 – coastal S Mozambique and NE South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal coast S to L St Lucia).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–20 cm; male 30·3–39·8g, female 30·8–34 g. Distinctive, slender, long-tailed longclaw with pink throat. Male has whitish to buff... read more


    Song, in flight or from top of bush, a uniform “wee-tjihwee-tjih”, or a series of squeaky whistled... read more


    Short tussocky, moist or wet grassland, either permanently or seasonally flooded, near swamps,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Larval and adult insects up to size of grasshopper (Orthoptera); also, small frogs occasionally taken. Forages on the ground, picking items... read more


    Laying mainly during or after rains: Apr–Jun and Dec in Kenya, and Dec–Jan, Mar and May in Tanzania; Sept, Nov–Dec, Feb... read more


    Mainly sedentary, locally nomadic; seasonal movements in response to rainfall and the burning or... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon; not uncommon in Angola; uncommon in Kenya. Distribution disjunct. Has apparently disappeared from parts of S Mozambique,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Tyler, S. (2020). Rosy-throated Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae). 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 on 17 February 2020).