restricted access Black woodland birds
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Southern Black Flycatcher L: 18 cm (7") An upright, slim, and lustrous all-black bird, with dark-brown eyes and straight-edged, square or minutely notched tail; juveniles are spotted brown. Drongos differ by having red eyes and broad, forked tails; the male Black Cuckooshrike has an orange base to the bill and creeps and hops horizontally through trees. The Southern Black Flycatcher is a common and widespread resident in Kruger’s woodlands and camps, but more secretive than drongos, often perching in the mid-storey. It is mostly silent, but sometimes sings a three-note “tseeep-tsoo-tsoo” song. Southern BlackTit L: 15 cm (6") A small, active and noisy black bird, with a short bill, white shoulders and white edgings to its wing feathers. It is a common resident in Kruger, particularly in broadleaved woodland, where it is a core species in mixed feeding flocks. This bird is often detected by its noisy buzzing and chirping vocalizations, including a characteristic “diddy-dzee-dzeedzee -dzee-dzee”. It is a co-operative breeder that will nest in abandoned barbet and woodpecker holes. These unrelated but similar-looking species are frequently found in mixed species flocks, and can therefore easily be confused. Black woodland birds 116 Black Cuckooshrike L: 20 cm (8") The sexes of the Black Cuckooshrike are very different: the male is a dumpy, all-black bird with a yellow-orange base to the gape and a usually inconspicuous yellow shoulder mark; the female is a more distinctive grey-brown with bars below and bright yellow edges to the wing and tail feathers . The male could be confused with a Fork-tailed Drongo or Southern Black Flycatcher, but can be told by its more horizontal posture and sluggish behaviour; the drongo also has pale wing feathers in flight . This is an uncommon and unobtrusive resident of Kruger, its presence often revealed by a prolonged insect-like “trrrrrrrrr” trill . It may join flocks of other birds, but can also be solitary, searching the canopy for caterpillars and other arboreal prey . Fork-tailed Drongo L: 25 cm (10") This black, red-eyed, upright bird has a long narrow tail that splays out into a wide fork at the tip . In flight, a useful identification feature is the paler flight feathers . Abundant and conspicuous throughout Kruger, it prefers open wooded country . It sings a varied series of unmelodic, noisy and mechanical notes, sometimes including mimicry . Drongos hawk insects from a perch, and can associate with ungulates, catching insects that they flush . They will also associate with foraging mongooses, giving false alarm calls to distract their attention before stealing their hardearned pickings . BIRDS OF BROADLEAVED WOODLAND AND CAMPS male female 117 ...