Topic : Landbirds
Article 49 18 November 2008
Interesting Crombec roosting site
The following photos were taken in August 2008 on the western shores of Lake Ngami in central western Botswana. We spent two nights camping on the lake edge below Acacia trees that dominated the surrounding woodland.
While collecting firewood at dusk, G.U. disturbed Long-billed Crombecs Sylvietta rufescens that were dropping down from the tall Acacias to roost in the 1.5 m high dry old and leafless Large Thorn-apple Datura ferox plants not 15 m from our tents.
The birds (about 8 altogether) soon returned to their preferred roost site even with all seven campers standing within 25 m of their selected site in the Datura plants.
The small buffy coloured birds almost matched the size and colour of the Datura seed heads, but lacked of course the long spines that protrude from the seed capsules. The camouflage was magnificent.
Many of the passerines in the area roosted in the tall surrounding Acacia trees that night but the crombecs specifically selected the spiny Datura seed heads against which to roost.