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Bokmakierie

The Bokmakierie (Telophorus zeylonus), is a bushshrike and a passerine bird closely related to the true shrikes in the family Laniidae. This species is endemic to southern Africa, mainly in South Africa and Namibia, with an isolated population in the mountains of eastern Zimbabwe and western Mozambique. It is a species of open habitats, including karoo scrub, fynbos and parks and gardens in urban areas.

The adult Bokmakierie is a 8.6-9.0 inch long bird with olive-green upperparts and a conspicuous bright yellow tip to the black tail. The head is grey with a yellow eye brow, and the strong bill has a hooked upper mandible. The under parts are bright yellow with a broad black collar between the throat and breast, which continues up the neck sides through the eye to the bill. The legs and feet are blue-grey. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are a dull gray-green below, and lack the black throat patch.

The bulky cup nest is constructed in a hedge, scrub or tree fork. The 2-6, usually three, red-brown or lilac-blotched greenish-blue eggs are incubated by both sexes for about 16 days to hatching, with another 18 days to fledging. Unlike the true shrikes, which perch conspicuously in the open, the Bokmakierie is shy and skulking. This bird has a typical shrike diet of insects, small lizards, snakes, small birds and frogs. It is predated itself by snakes, mongooses, and large shrikes like the Common Fiscal and Southern Boubou.

Bokmakierie


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