African bush-warbler

African bush-warbler
Bradypterus baboecala

Photo by Mike Buckham (Buckham Birding)

Common name:
African bush-warbler (en); felosa-dos-juncos-africana (pt); bouscarle caqueteuse (fr); zarzalero charlatán (es); sumpfbuschsänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

This African species is patchily distributed from Nigeria to Ethiopia and Kenya, and has the bulk of its population from southern D.R. Congo, through Zambia and Angola, and down to South Africa.

These birds are 13-17 cm long and weigh 11-15 g.

The African bush-warbler is found in inland wetlands, namely marshes, streams and rivers populated by sedge, such as papyrus Cyperus papyrus and bulrushes Typha capensis. They can also move into seasonally flooded grasslands and sewage ponds.

They feed among sedges and reeds, near the waterline, taking small insects and insect eggs.

These birds breed in September-March. The nest is a deep, untidy cup built of reeds or coarse grass, typically placed at the base of a clump of sedge near the waters edge.There the female lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 12-13 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the African bush-warbler is described as locally common to rare. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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