Sarothrura boehmi (Streaky-breasted
Streepborsvleikuiken [Afrikaans]; Böhm-ral [Dutch]; Râle de
Böhm [French]; Boehmzwergralle [German]; Frango-d'água de Boehm
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fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial
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Reptilia (reptiles) >
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Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves
(birds) > Order: Gruiformes >
Distribution and habitat
Occurs in isolated patches of sub-Saharan Africa in the
area from Cameroon to Kenya south through southern DRC and Zambia (where it is
most widespread) to southern Africa. Here it is locally common in
north-eastern Zimbabwe, generally preferring short, seasonally inundated
grasslands with plenty of termite mounds and dominated by Millet (Setaria
anceps), Cat's-tail (Sporobolus pyramidalis) and Pin-hole grass (Bothriochloa
insculpta), which are overrun by Bronze-awned thatching
grass (Hyperrhaenia nyassae) and blue grasses (Andropogon) later
in the season.
Distribution of Streaky-breasted flufftail in southern Africa,
based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas
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).
Movements and migrations
Intra-African migrant, breeding in Zimbabwe and
Zambia from November-April, probably heading north in the
non-breeding season to equatorial Africa.
Little is known about its diet and foraging habits, besides
that eats small seeds and insects.
- Monogamous, territorial solitary nester, building a simple pad of grasses
which is concealed in a grass tuft.
- Egg-laying season is from November-March, peaking from January-February.
- It lays 2-5 eggs, which are incubated by the male by day and the female
at night, for a period of 14-18 days.
- The chicks leave the nest after 1-3 days, learning to find food for
themselves a few days later. They take their first flight at about 35 days
old, after which their parents chase them away from their territory.
Not threatened, although overgrazing, damming, draining and
cultivation of seasonally inundated wetlands is 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.