Drakensberg Prinia

Prinia hypoxantha

The Drakensberg Prinia is endemic to Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa, occurring along the Drakensberg Range and its foothills from Limpopo Province to the Eastern Cape. The IUCN considers the Drakensberg Prinia a species of least concern. Some authorities believe it to be a subspecies of the Karoo Prinia.

Usually encountered in monogamous pairs or small family groups, these small (10g, 14cm) but very active birds inhabit grassy mountainous slopes, fern-grown gullies and forest edges in high rainfall areas, where they subsist on a diet of insects and other invertebrates. Their nests are oval, ball-shaped constructions of grass built deep in thick bushes. Clutches of 2-4 eggs are laid in the spring and summer and incubated for about 2 weeks, with the fledglings leaving the nest around that same length of time after hatching.

26 thoughts on “Drakensberg Prinia

  1. naturebackin

    Well luckily you were likely well concealed ☺
    Oh yes … larks and pipits too! I confess I often give up even without the added challenges of being colourblind. I remember reading about an old-time cisticola specialist, who when wanting to confirm an ID would shoot the unfortunate ‘specimen’! Hopefully times have changed as cameras have improved.

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  2. naturebackin

    What lovely photos of these jaunty little birds. I am imagining you hiding in the shrubbery to get these pics ☺
    I need to get my act together to learn how to distinguish the different species of prinias – and cisticolas too! I guess the best way is to become familiar with their calls.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you Carol, and you are absolutely right about the lengths I had to go to to get a few decent shots of the Drakensberg Prinia while we were at Giant’s Castle in June – if anyone noticed me I’m sure they would’ve been thoroughly entertained…

      I’m not too bad with pinpointing the various prinias, but the cisticolas, larks and pipits have me enormously confused – and the fact that I am colourblind doesn’t help at all when the only distinguishing feature separating one from ten others is a “pinkish hue to the lower mandibel” or such… 😀

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