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Terrestrial brownbul

Phyllastrephus terrestris

Photo by Alan Manson (Wikipedia)

Common name:
terrestrial brownbul (en); tuta-da-terra (pt); bulbul jaboteur (fr); bulbul terrestre (es); laubbülbül (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Pycnonotidae

This African species is found from Somalia and Kenya, through eastern Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and into southern Angola, south-eastern D.R. Congo, eastern and northern Botswana and eastern and southern South Africa.

These birds are 17-19 cm long and weigh 25-35 g.

The terrestrial brownlbul is mostly found in the undergrowth of moist tropical forests and riparian forests along rivers and streams, also using moist scrublands and arable land.

They forge on the ground, by probing and overturning the leaf litter feed, mainly taking arthropods such as ants, termites and beetles. They are also known to eat snails, small lizards, fruits, seeds and the nectar of Aloe plants.

Terrestrial brownbuls breed in October-April. The nest is built by both sexes, consisting of a fragile and untidy cup of twigs, roots, leaves, moss, bark and lichen, lined with softer plant materials. It is typically placed inconspicuously on a branch near the edge of a scrub or thicket. The female lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 13 days. There is no information regarding the length of the fledgling period, but the chicks are cared for by both parents and become independent a few days after fledging.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be common but sometimes only locally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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