Turdoides melanops (Black-faced
Swartwangkatlagter [Afrikaans]; Siwerewere (generic term
for babbler) [Kwangali]; Letshêganôga [Tswana]; Zwartteugelbabbelaar
[Dutch]; Cratérope masqué [French]; Dunkler droßling,
Schwarzzügeldroßling [German]; Zaragateiro-de-faces-pretas [Portuguese]
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vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial
vertebrates) > Tetrapoda
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria >
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Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves
Order: Passeriformes > Family: Sylviidae
> Genus: Turdoides
Distribution and habitat
Near-endemic to southern Africa, only occurring in northern
Botswana, northern and north-eastern Namibia and south-west Angola. It generally
prefers undergrowth with thickets and creepers in woodland containing Zambezi
teak (Baikiaea plurijuga), corkwood (Commiphora) and Purple pod
terminalia (Terminalia pruinoides), especially when there is a high
canopy and tall patches of grass.
Distribution of Black-faced babbler 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).
It forages in groups on the ground and in the undergrowth,
eating insects, reptiles and fruit.
- Cooperative breeder, living in groups of 4-7, rarely up to 15 birds.
- The nest is a bowl built of grass and lined with finer plant material,
typically placed in the outer branches of a tree.
- Egg-laying season is from October-March.
- It lays 2-3 deep greyish turquoise eggs.
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.