restricted access Other ground-dwellers
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Arrow-marked Babbler L: 23 cm (9") Babblers are gregarious, grey-brown birds of low bushes . The Arrow-marked Babbler has striking yellow-and-red eyes, and a multitude of tiny white chevrons on the head and breast that give the bird its name . This is a common resident throughout Kruger, preferring dry woodland and riverine thickets where it occurs in single-species or mixed flocks; it is frequently seen in camps . A dry, gurgling babble “gra-gra-gra-gra-gra” is made by several birds in a group . Each group defends a large territory, the birds foraging for insects, spiders and small vertebrates on the ground or in low shrubs and trees, and co-operatively raises the chicks of the dominant pair . The Arrow-marked Babbler is the main host species for the parasitic Levaillant’s Cuckoo (page 89) . White-browed Scrub-Robin L: 15 cm (6") Scrub-robins are like small thrushes in shape and behaviour . This species has grey-brown upperparts, two diagnostic white wingbars, pale streaked underparts and a prominent white eyebrow and moustache . A rufous rump and sides to the tail, and dark bar and white tips give the tail a distinctive appearance, especially when the bird is flying away . This is a very common resident in drier woodland and scrub in Kruger, often seen running on the ground and lifting its tail . Although it may skulk in dense vegetation, it sometimes perches in a prominent position singing its characteristic “twee-too-too” song, or a variation of other quavering sweet notes . Other ground-dwellers 124 Mocking Cliff-Chat L: 22 cm (9") The sexes of this long-tailed, strong-legged ground bird look very different . The stunning male has glossy black upperparts, chestnut underparts and rump, and a bold white shoulder patch; the female is duller, with slaty grey-brown upperparts, deeper rufous underparts, and lacks the white shoulder patch . This bird has a distinctive habit of slowly lifting its tail when perched . It is a fairly common resident in Kruger, but restricted to rocky outcrops and boulder-strewn woodland . It is often detected by its loud, complex, melodic song, sometimes given in duet, and often including mimicry . BIRDS OF BROADLEAVED WOODLAND AND CAMPS mocking cliff-chat arrow-marked babbler male female 125 ...