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Immature Bokmakierie - Telophorus zeylonus
Habitat variable: mainly bush and scrub in highveld, karoo, fynbos and desert.
Identification : Immature : Above dark olive; below dull greyish yellow, finely barred with grey; no black collar.
Voice : Very variable loud ringing song, almost invariably in duet, kwit-kwit-kwit-kwit, wikiri, wikiri, ka-weet, ka-weet, ka-weet, bokmakiri, bokmakiri, koki-koki-koki , etc., in any combination; either bird may change song phrase in mid-song; notes sometimes trilled or clicked, prrr-too, prrr-too or tok-weet, tok-weet ; immatures often sing flat or off-key; harsh krrrr alarm note; knocking tok-tok-tok warning call.
Distribution : Mainly confined to extreme S and SE of South Africa, Karoo, highveld and dry W; isolated population of only about 400 birds ( T. z. restrictus ) in Chimanimani Mountains of Zimbabwe, and adjacent Mozambique.
Status : Common resident over most of range; uncommon in Zimbabwe and Namib Desert. Habitat : Very variable; bushy hillsides with rocks, aloes and Euphorbia , riverine scrub, thickets in open grassveld, exotic groves and plantations, gardens, farmyards, dense shrubs along dry watercourses; in Zimbabwe and Mozambique well-wooded boulder-strewn ravines, mosaic of grassland and rocky areas with heaths and proteas. Habits : Solitary or in pairs. Sings all year round from top of bush, tree, post, fence or roof, head thrown back and bill wide open. Forages low down in undergrowth or on ground; runs well. Flies with rapid wingbeats and tail spread, usually close to ground, diving straight into cover. Shy in wild, but tame around human settlement.
Food : Insects, small lizards and snakes, frogs, small birds, suet from feeding table.
Breeding : Season : July to October in sw Cape, July to March in e Cape, September to March in KwaZulu-Natal, all months except April (mainly August to November) in Transvaal, November to January in Zimbabwe.
Nest : Bulky bowl of twigs, stems, roots and herbs; in dense hedge, bush or fork of leafy tree; from ground level to about 2 m above ground. Clutch : (54) 2-3-6 eggs (usually 3). Eggs : Bright greenish blue, spotted with reddish brown; measure (194) 25,6 x 19,3 (22,9-29,3 x 16,5-20,8). Incubation : (4) 14-17 days. Nestling : (3) 17-19 days; fed by both parents.
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