Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)


Sharpe's Longclaw (Macronyx sharpei)


French: Sentinelle de Sharpe German: Zitronenpieper Spanish: Bisbita de Sharpe

Macronyx sharpei

F. J. Jackson

, 1904,

Mau Plateau, Kenya


Species previously placed in Hemimacronyx, a treatment still preferred by some authors, based on its apparent similarities to H. chloris. Monotypic.


Highlands of W & C Kenya: Mt Elgon, and on both sides of Rift Valley on Cherangani Hills, Mau and Kinangop Plateaux, S slopes of Aberdares and N slopes of Mt Kenya. Possibly also on Ugandan side of Mt Elgon.

Descriptive notes

16–17 cm. Small, slender longclaw with Anthus-like appearance. Adult male has lemon-yellow supercilium with small olive-brown streaks, pale creamy lores tinged... read more


Song, in flight or from perch, a series of thin, plaintive whistles rising in pitch, “yo yo... read more


Open, treeless, short and often tussocky grassland at 1850–3400 m, mostly below 2800 m; areas... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, particularly grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and beetles (Coleoptera), also other small invertebrates. Forages in grassland; foraging... read more


Laying during or just after rains, Mar–Jun and Sept–Oct, and in Dec. Monogamous; solitary nester, territorial. In brief aerial... read more


Sedentary; local movements may occur if habitat becomes very dry.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Kenyan Mountains EBA. Local and generally uncommon; in 1977 described as common on Kinangop and Mau Plateaux and around... read more

Recommended citation

Tyler, S. (2020). Sharpe's Longclaw (Macronyx sharpei). 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 24 February 2020).