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Cape Longclaw | Macronyx capensis

The Cape Longclaw is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Motacillidae bird family group which includes birds such as Wagtails, Longclaws, Pipits.

The description for the Cape Longclaw (Latin name Macronyx capensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Macronyx capensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 727 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1098. You will find a picture of the Cape Longclaw on page 1073.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Orange-throated Longclaw in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Cape Longclaw is known in Afrikaans as Oranjekeelkalkoentjie.

The Cape Longclaw is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Cape Longclaw has a height of 20 cms and weighs around 46 gms. The head is coloured olive while the bill is coloured black. The Macronyx capensis has a orange coloured throat, brown legs and a grey, brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Macronyx capensis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is olive

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are brown

Throat is orange

Back is grey, brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Macronyx capensis attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Cape Longclaw is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 4 eggs and they are coloured cream.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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