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Pipits and Wagtails: Motacillidae - Rosy-breasted Longclaw (macronyx Ameliae): Species Accounts

Animal Life ResourceBirdsPipits and Wagtails: Motacillidae - Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Behavior And Reproduction, Pipits, Wagtails, Longclaws, And People - HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS


Physical characteristics: Rosy-breasted longclaws range in length from 7.5 to 8 inches (19 to 20 centimeters) and in weight from 1.1 to 1.4 ounces (30 to 40 grams). Their mottled, speckled, upperparts include an orange-red patch on the throat with a dark band across their lower throat and a pinkish breast. The hind claw on the foot of this bird is extremely long, making up at least half the length of the foot.

Geographic range: This species inhabits southwestern Kenya and north and southwest Tanzania, as well as parts of Angola, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and the east coast of South Africa.

Habitat: Rosy-breasted longclaws live in grasslands with short bunches of vegetation in areas that are permanently or seasonally moist. They often live near marshes or open bodies of water.

Diet: This species eats mainly insects and sometimes small frogs, but it also forages, searches for food, in grass or on the bare ground and occasionally pursues winged insects into the air.

Behavior and reproduction: This shy longclaw is territorial during the breeding season, when the species tends to gather into pairs or family groups. Males usually sing from the tops of bushes or during song-flights. Mating pairs are monogamous and breed mostly during or after seasonal rains. The female builds a cup-shaped nest of grass within a tuft of grass, and lays two to four eggs. The female incubates them for thirteen to fourteen days, and the fledglings leave the nest after sixteen days.

Rosy-breasted longclaws and people: Rosy-breasted longclaws have no special significance to people.

Conservation status: Rosy-breasted longclaws are listed as Near Threatened in South Africa and Mozambique due to loss of coastal habitat. ∎

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