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Nilaus afer

Photo by Robert Erasmus (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
brubru (en); brubru (pt); brubru africain (fr); brubrú (es); brubruwürger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Malaconotidae

This species is found in sub-Saharan Africa, from the Sahel down to northern South Africa, but is mostly absent from the lowland rainforests of the Congo river basin.

These birds are 12-15 cm long and weigh 20-25 g.

The brubru is mostly found in dry savannas and dry tropical forests, also using dry tropical scrublands. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

They feed on arthropods, which they either glean from the foliage or hawk aerially. They sometimes join mixed-species foraging flocks with other passerines.

These birds can breed all year round, varying among different parts of their range. The breed in solitary pairs, with both sexes helping build the nest, a small, neat cup made of fine plant material such as twigs, tendrils and bark held together with spider web. The nest is often decorated with lichens and placed in a fork in a tree, well camouflaged among the foliage. The female lays 1-3 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 19 days. The chicks fledge 20-22 days after hatching but only become fully independent about 8 weeks later.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and is described as not uncommon. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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