African paradise-flycatcher

African paradise-flycatcher
Terpsiphone viridis
Photo by Callie de Wet (Oiseaux)

Common name:
African paradise-flycatcher (en); monarca-africano (pt); tchitrec d’Afrique (fr); monarca colilargo africano (es); graubrust-paradiesschnäpper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Monarchidae

This species is found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of the most arid parts of Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

These birds are 17 cm long, but the elongated tail streamers of adult males double this length. They weigh 12-14 g.

These birds are mostly found in dry savannas, but also in a wide range of other wooded habitats, scrublands, plantations, agricultural areas and gardens. they are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

They mainly eat invertebrates such as moth, termite alates, beetles, flies, mosquitoes, lacewings, mantids, cockroaches, grasshoppers, crickets, bugs, midges and ant alates. They occasionally also eat small berries.

African paradise-flycatchers can breed all year round, varying between the different parts of their range. In South Africa they breed in October-December. Both sexes build the nest, a small cup of twigs and bark held together with spider web and decorated with lichen. There the female lays 1-4 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 11-19 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 10-16 days after hatching, but remain with their parents until the next clutch is laid.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, it is reported to be uncommon to abundant. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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