Karoo prinia

Karoo prinia
Prinia maculosa

Photo by Martin Flack (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Karoo prinia (en); fuinha-malhada (pt); prinia du Karoo (fr); prinia del Karoo (es); fleckenprinie (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Cisticolidae

This species is found in South Africa, as far north as Lesotho and Bloemfontein, and into Namibia.

These birds are 12-15 cm long and weigh 7-11 g.

The Karoo prinia is mostly found in dry scrublands such as fynbos, Karoo scrub and renosterveld, but also use dry savannas, the edges of dry tropical forests, rural gardens and arable land.

They feed on various small insects, including caterpillars, beetles, bugs, grasshoppers and flies, also being known to take skinks.

Karoo prinias breed in July-January, with a peak in August-November. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of an oval or pear shaped structure with a side entrance, made of woven grass and lined with plant down or wool. It is typically concealed it in a tuft of spiny grass, a sapling or scrub. There the female lays 1-5 eggs which she incubates alone for 11-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 10-14 days after hatching. Each pair usually raises 2 broods per season.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common to abundant. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to potentially increasing grazing pressure

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