Macronyx ameliae (Rosy-throated longclaw, Pink-throated longclaw) 

Rooskeelkalkoentjie [Afrikaans]; Roodkeel-langklauw [Dutch]; Sentinelle à gorge rose [French]; Rotkehlgroßsporn, Karmesinpieper [German]; Unha-longa-vermelho [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Motacillidae > Genus: Macronyx

Macronyx ameliae (Rosy-throated longclaw, Pink-throated longclaw) Macronyx ameliae (Rosy-throated longclaw, Pink-throated longclaw)

Rosy-throated longclaw male, Tanzania. [photo Martin Goodey ©]

Rosy-throated longclaw female, Ozambeni, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Although it occurs separately in Kenya the bulk of its population is distributed from Angola, Zambia and Malawi to southern Africa. Here it is uncommon and localised in northern Botswana and the Caprivi Strip (Namibia), north-central Zimbabwe and southern Mozambique and KwaZulu-Natal, generally preferring damp or waterlogged short grassland and edges of lakes or vleis.

Distribution of Rosy-throated longclaw in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  


It mainly eats small insects, doing most of its foraging on the ground, occasionally hawking prey aerially. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • Monogamous, territorial solitary nester, breeding in open grassland next to shallow wetlands; due to the absence of trees, males sing on mounds and low bushes. Males also perform an aerial display in which they fly around just above the grass with feet dangling.
  • The nest is built solely by the female, consisting of a deep open cup of coarse grass stems lined with rootlets, typically concealed between grass tussocks on the ground.
  • Egg-laying season is from October-April, peaking from December-February.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female for about 13-14 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents, leaving the nest after about 16 days.


Not threatened globally, but Near-threatened in South Africa, largely due too overgrazing of subtropical pans and floodplain grassland, but drainage of wetlands and agriculture are also cause for concern.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 



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