Chestnut-vented Warbler

Sylvia subcoerulea

With an unfortunate English name drawing even more attention to its most noticeable characteristic, the Chestnut-vented Warbler (or Chestnut-vented Tit-babbler) would probably prefer to go by its Afrikaans name “Bosveldtjeriktik” which imitates the first notes of its cheerful song.

Chestnut-vented Warblers are found in dry savannas, woodlands and thickets along drainage lines and hillsides and will also venture into gardens in small towns. They are very active when foraging, looking for insects, fruits, seeds and nectar amongst the foliage and flowers of trees and shrubs. Chestnut-vented Warblers are common and confident little birds usually seen singly or in pairs.

Chestnut-vented Warblers may breed at anytime of year, though there is a distinct peak in spring. Their nests are thin-walled cups of dry grass and twigs built in a tree or shrub. The parents take turns to incubate the clutch of 2-4 eggs and feeding the hatchlings until they fledge, both stages taking around 14 days. Fully grown they measure around 15cm in length and weigh 16g.

The Chestnut-vented Warbler occurs throughout South Africa and also in Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and marginally in Lesotho. The IUCN considers it to be of least concern.

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