African Broadbill

Introduction: Because African broadbills (Smithornis capensis) sit still for very long periods, there presence can easily be overlooked. Frog-like rattles give their location away. Their wide habitat range also contributes to them being unnoticeable, which includes dense woodland and deciduous thickets. This species is named after Sir Andrew Smith, the Scottish herpetologist and ornithologist (1797-1872).

Distribution: Fragmented population including Zambezi Region (formerly the Caprivi Strip) and the Okavango Delta.

Diet: Searches under branches, aerially and from the ground for beetles, grasshoppers, bugs, spiders, caterpillars and insect eggs.

Description: Grey-brown mantle and back, streaked with black and white markings. The tail is dark brown as are the flight feathers which also have a silvery grey under colouring. Their white back feathers puff out in flight displays.

Breeding: A nest built of bark, grass, twigs and dry leaves is sparsely bound together with spider web. The entrance is on the side, near the bottom, often with a characteristic 'porch-like' roof. 1 to 3 white, oval eggs are laid between October and February and incubated for around 15 days.

Size: 14cm.

Weight: 26g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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