Colloquial (Common) Names: Oranjekeelkalkoentjie (Afrikaans)
Taxonomy: Class: Aves; Order: Passeriformes; Family: Motacillidae (two subspecies from South Africa).
Identification: Males and females greyish brown on the back with darker streaks, black bills and long, pale legs and a long, backward-pointing toe with long nail. Males have a bright orange throat patch surrounded by a black collar and vivid yellow chest plumage. Females with a dirty yellow throat and creamy white chest plumage.
Distribution: Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Free State, Gauteng and North West. Patchy distribution in Limpopo Province. Also in Lesotho and Swaziland.
Habitat: Grassland, Fynbos and Savanna Biomes where they have a preference for moist grasslands.
Activity & Behaviour: Actively forage during the day, often in dense grass.
Diet & Feeding: Insects, including grasshoppers, beetles and termites and known to scratch open termite mounds.
Reproduction: Females lay 1-4 oval, creamy-white eggs in a nest constructed between grass tufts. Incubation is short lasting only two weeks.
Conservation Status: Least Concern.
References and Recommended Further Reading:
- Hockey, P., W. Dean & P. Ryan (eds). 2005. Roberts – Birds of Southern Africa, VIIth edition. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.
- Sinclair, I. & P. Ryan. 2009. Complete Photographic Field Guide – Birds of Southern Africa. Struik Nature.