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Arrow-marked babbler

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Arrow-marked babblers (Turdoides jardineii) are named after the naturalist Sir William Jardine (1800-1874). Their Namibian habitats are mainly dry riverine woodland, reedbeds, farms and suburban gardens. They are a highly sociable species often observed in flocks of up to 15. Larger groups are known to defend their territory, with interaction at boundaries resulting in both flocks retreating to the tree canopy.

Distribution: North-eastern Namibia range only which includes Rundu, Kaudom Park, Bwabwata National Park, Nkasa Rupara Park and Mudumu National Park. Vagrants have been known to visit the Kunene River region, west of Epupa Falls.

Diet: Creeps through the undergrowth and leaf litter in groups for grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, moths, ants, flies, seeds and fruits.

Description: Often confused with Hartlaub's and black-faced babblers which have scaled, rather than streaked markings. So called because of their 'V'-shaped whitish marks at the tip of the pointed chin, throat and breast feathers.

Breeding: All group members build a nest made from dry grass, stems, leaves and twigs. Usually 3 eggs are laid between November and January and incubated for up to 15 days.

Size: 24cm. Weight: 70g.

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