Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-throated Longclaw (Macronyx croceus)


French: Sentinelle à gorge jaune German: Gelbkehlpieper Spanish: Bisbita gorjigualdo

Alauda crocea


, 1816,

Java; error = Senegal


Plumage individually variable, and recognition of races sometimes considered unwarranted; proposed race hygricus (Upper Guinea) included in nominate. Race vulturnus sometimes misspelt vulturinus. Three subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. c. croceus (Vieillot, 1816) – Senegambia E to Cameroon, W & S fringes of Chad, N & S Central African Republic, Gabon, Congo, NW & WC Angola, W, N & NE DRCongo, South Sudan, and Uganda and mesic areas of W & C Kenya S to Burundi and NW & N Tanzania (S to the Serengeti).
  • M. c. tertius Clancey, 1958 – coastal lowlands of Kenya to C & S Tanzania, E Zambia (E of Luangwa Valley), Malawi, NE & C Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
  • M. c. vulturnus Friedmann, 1930 – SE South Africa (Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–22 cm; male 43·8–57 g, female 43–51·6 g. Large, distinctive longclaw. Adult male nominate race has deep lemon-yellow supercilium, white... read more


    Typical song, from perch or in flight, a rapid “tir-tri-tri-tri”, the “tri... read more


    Dry grassland and cultivated open areas, scrubby grassland away from water, open clearings in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and other invertebrates, notably grasshopper adults and nymphs (Orthoptera), adult and larval beetles (Coleoptera) and moths (... read more


    Mainly during or just after rains, mainly May–Aug in W Africa, also Dec in Senegambia, Apr–Oct in Nigeria; Oct in Sudan; in all... read more


    Probably resident in many areas. Local seasonal movements noted in Sudan, Malawi and parts of South... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and not uncommon in suitable habitat through much of range, locally less common; scarce in Senegambia and rare in Mali. Common in several... read more

    Recommended citation

    Tyler, S. (2020). Yellow-throated Longclaw (Macronyx croceus). 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 29 February 2020).