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East Coast Akalat | Sheppardia gunningi

The East Coast Akalat is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Muscicapidae bird family group which includes birds such as Thrushes, Robins, Chats, Old World Flycatchers.

The description for the East Coast Akalat (Latin name Sheppardia gunningi) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Sheppardia gunningi can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 608 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 926. You will find a picture of the East Coast Akalat on page 960.

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 Gunning's Robin in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the East Coast Akalat between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The East Coast Akalat has a height of 12 cms and weighs around 18 gms. The head is coloured bronze while the bill is coloured black. The Sheppardia gunningi has a yellow coloured throat, pink legs and a brown 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 bronze

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are pink

Throat is yellow

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

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 East Coast Akalat 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 2 to 3 eggs and they are coloured brown.

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.

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

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The East Coast Akalat 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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