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Green-backed Honeybird | Prodotiscus zambesiae

The Green-backed Honeybird is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Indicatoridae bird family group which includes birds such as Honeyguides.

The description for the Green-backed Honeybird (Latin name Prodotiscus zambesiae) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Prodotiscus zambesiae can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 479 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 126. You will find a picture of the Green-backed Honeybird on page 144.

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 Slender-billed Honeyguide in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Green-backed Honeybird between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Green-backed Honeybird has a height of 12 cms and weighs around 12 gms. The head is coloured olive, green while the bill is coloured black. The Prodotiscus zambesiae has a green, grey coloured throat, green legs and a olive, green coloured back. The eyes are brown.

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, green

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are green

Throat is green, grey

Back is olive, green

Feeding Habits ...

The Green-backed Honeybird is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Prodotiscus zambesiae 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 .

The Prodotiscus zambesiae forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Green-backed Honeybird does not built its own nest but rather invades the nest of other birds. If the bird does not find an empty nest it will attack the host (original nest owner) and displace it

The Green-backed Honeybird is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Green-backed Honeybird is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

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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