ABYSSINIAN LONG CLAW (Macronyx flavicollis) Wing 83 – 95 mm

Abyssinian Long Claw

The Abyssinian Long Claw is very similar in both appearance and behavior to the Yellow Throated Long Claw (Macronyx Croceus) of other parts of Africa. They are common grassland bird of the western and southeastern highlands except in the extreme north where it does not occur.

Like other long claws, this Ethiopian endemic inhabits grasslands and has plumage markings similar to those of meadowlarks of North and South America (passerine birds that are not related to long claws).

The Abyssinian Long claw occurs largely between 1,200 and 3,050 meters (4,000 – 10,000 feet) but occasionally reaches the grassland and moorlands up to 4100 meters (13,500 feet); it is most common between 1,800 and 2,750 meters (6,000-9,000 feet).

Living singly or in pairs, this Long Claw is usually seen sitting on a lump of dirt, a rock, a small bush or a fence. Its black necklace and saffron throat and neck are especially obvious when it sits. Considered to be “tame and friendly”, when breeding, it nests in February, June, July and August. Its nest is a cup like structure raised slightly above the ground and lined with various grass fibers. The eggs, two or three in number, are glossy, pale greenish-white and flecked with dull brown. It makes “a clear trilling little song from a perch or on tile wine and a piping call note”.

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