Southern Black Flycatcher

Melaenornis pammelaina

The Southern Black Flycatcher inhabits open, tall woodlands, often along rivers or otherwise near water, and the edges of forests. They’ve also adapted to plantations and gardens. They feed mainly on a wide variety of insects, often pounced on from a low perch such as a branch or fence post, but do include nectar and berries in their diet as well.

This species closely resembles both the Square-tailed Drongo and the Fork-tailed Drongo, which it appears to be mimicking and often associates with. Adults reach up to 20cm in length and weigh up to 32g. They are usually encountered in pairs or small family groups.

The breeding season in the Southern Black Flycatcher spans spring and summer. Nests are cup-shaped formations of dry grass and twigs, built in hollow tree trunks or tangled vegetation. Clutches contain up to 4 eggs, incubated for 2 weeks. Both parents take care of the chicks, which fledge between 2 and 3 weeks old.

The Southern Black Flycatcher occurs widely in east, central and southern Africa, and is listed as being of least concern by the IUCN. In South Africa they can be found in the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and parts of Gauteng and the North West Province.


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