English (Rob 6): Southern Boubou
English (Rob 7): Southern Boubou
French: Gonolek boubou
ferruginea/ferrugineus: Latin, rust-coloured.
laniarius: Latin lanius, a butcher or executioner (from lanio, to tear to pieces); -arius, like or pertaining to.
Measurements: Length 21-23 cm; wing (9 male) 95-99,9-101, (10 female) 92-94,5-97; tail (19) 91-104; culmen (19) 22,5-26; bill depth (19) 8,8-10. Weight (S Africa and Zimbabwe, L. f. ferrugineus and L. f. natalensis) (11 male) 53-60,2-68,8 g, (7 female) 54,1-57,5-61,9 g, (s Mozambique, L. f. savensis) (3 male) 44,2-50-53,2 g, (5 female) 42,1-44,7-51 g.
Bare Parts: Iris brown; bill black; legs and feet blue-grey.
Identification: Size large (but rather smaller than Tropical Boubou in zone of overlap); above black to below eye, back duller, somewhat slaty (female all slaty greyish above; Tropical Boubou glossy black above with whitish rump); bold white wingstripe; below pinkish or creamy white, with rufous wash on flanks (male and female) and belly (female only; Tropical Boubou plain cream or pinkish white below, without rufous wash; Swamp Boubou pure white below); tail black. Immature: Above spotted black and rust; below whitish, barred brown.
Voice: Highly variable; loud ringing bell-like notes, sometimes harsh buzzing notes, usually in antiphonal duet, one bird alternating with another several times; (A) wheep-wheeo, (B) kokoko; (A) swooop, (B) twheee; (A) kooee, (B) hollyonk; (A) bizzykizzkizz, (B) hoowee; (A) hoop hoowhee, (B) bobobo; duet started by either sex, answered by different call from opposite sex; harsh scolding bizzykizzkizz or skhaaa alarm calls.
Distribution: Sw and s Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, s and e Transvaal, se Botswana, Swaziland and Sul do Save (Mozambique).
Status: Common resident.
Habitat: Dense bush and tangles in coastal and riverine bush, scrub thickets, forest edge, gardens; also exotic plantations.
Habits: Solitary or in pairs. Highly secretive, normally keeping to dense vegetation, but responds well to spishing (see Glossary); becomes tame around human habitation. Forages by creeping and hopping through undergrowth and lower branches, venturing into open only at very edge of thicket; hops on ground. Highly vocal; members of pair keep in constant touch by duetting.
Food: Insects (including bees; sting rubbed off before swallowing), birds' eggs, nestling and fledgling birds, grain, fruit, porridge.
Breeding: Season: August to January (rarely to March) in sw Cape, September to December (mainly October-November) in KwaZulu-Natal, August to February (rarely in winter) in Transvaal. Nest: Shallow bowl of roots, twigs and grass, bound with spider web; sometimes lined with finer material; usually well hidden about 1-4 m above ground (rarely to 8 m) in dense bush, tree or creeper; rarely in exposed leafless fork; built by female only in about 6 days. Clutch: (77) 2-2,5-3 eggs. Eggs: Pale greenish white, finely speckled with shades of brown and grey forming ring around thick end; measure (90) 24,6 x 18,1 (22-27,4 x 16-19,2). Incubation: 16-17 days by both sexes. Nestling: 16-17 days; fed by both parents; post-nestling dependence at least 54 days; young accompany parents for at least 80 days after initial departure from nest.
Ref. Langley, C.H. 1983. Ostrich 54:172-173.