Terrestrial Brownbul

Phyllastrephus terrestris

The Terrestrial Brownbul is a shy inhabitant of forests and thickets, skulking in the undergrowth where it turns over the leaf litter looking for insects and other invertebrates, small reptiles, fruit and seeds.

Outside of the breeding season they form small groups of up to six individuals, but during the breeding season, which spans the spring and summer months, Terrestrial Brownbuls form monogamous, territorial pairs. Both parents build the flimsy cup-shaped nest in which a clutch of two or three eggs are incubated over a two week period. The chicks become independent very soon after fledging. Adult Terrestrial Brownbuls measure around 21cm in length and weigh approximately 36 grams.

The Terrestrial Brownbul is found over much of southern and eastern Africa, with an isolated population in southern Angola. In South Africa they’re found in suitable habitat from the Garden Route, along the Eastern Cape coast into Kwazulu-Natal, the Lowveld and escarpment of Mpumalanga and Limpopo and into the Waterberg region. We’ve had our best encounters with this otherwise secretive bird at Jack’s picnic spot in the Addo Elephant National ParkThe IUCN lists the Terrestrial Brownbul as being of least concern.


17 thoughts on “Terrestrial Brownbul

  1. naturebackin

    Gorgeous photos. Interesting info about them forming small groups when not breeding. We get them here as garden visitors and they enjoy enthusiastic splashing dips in the bird baths. And thanks, now I know why they form small foraging parties only in certain seasons.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. H.J. for avian101

    It has the shape of the European Starling , it has strong figure and strong bill. I’ve never seen it before. Interesting post, D. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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