Black-throated wattle-eye

Black-throated wattle-eye
Platysteira peltata

Photo by Guy Upfold (Tropical Birding)

Common name:

black-throated wattle-eye (en); olho-carunculado-de-garganta-preta (pt); pririt à gorge noire (fr); ojicarunculado de garganta negra (es); schwarzkehl-lappenschnäpper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Platysteiridae

This African species occurs from Angola to Kenya and has scattered populations across Zimbabwe, Mozambique and into eastern South Africa.

The black-throated wattle-eye is 14 cm long and weighs 11-15 g.

They are found in both mountain and coastal forests, often near a river or stream with vegetation protruding into the water. They can also occur in farm gardens, stands of tall trees with dense undergrowth, dune forest and mangroves.

These birds are insectivorous, catching most of their prey in the air, although they occasionally glean them from leaves and branches. They are known to take moths, caterpillars, flies, grasshoppers and crickets.

Black-throated wattle-eyes breed in September-January. The female builds the nest alone, a cup made of fine twigs and grass bound together with spider web. The nest is usually placed in a fork in a branch of a small tree or bush. There she lays 1-2 glossy grey-green eggs which she incubates alone for 16-18 days while the male aggressively defends the nest. The chicks are brooded and fed by both sexes, although the female does most of the work, and they fledge 14-16 days after hatching. The chicks remain with their parents for about 6 months more.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as uncommon to locally common. This population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

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