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Cape Rockjumper

  • Friday, 03 March 2017
  • Jeanette
  • birds

Botanical Name: Chaetops frenatus
Afrikaans name: Kaapse Berglyster

The Cape Rock-jumper is endemic bird to South Africa, you will find them from Uitenhage, Eastern Cape to Cape Hanklip (absent from the Cape peninsula), also north to the Cedarberg mountains and Piketberg. It generally prefers rocky mountain fynbos especially on high, windswept slopes and ridges.

Cape Rock jumper at the Rooiels site

Photo Above:  Anton Odendal

This rockjumper is 23–25 cm long with a long black tail and strong legs. The male has a dark grey head with a thin white supercilium and a broad white moustache. The back and wings are dark grey, and the underparts and rump are rufous red.  The female and juvenile have a paler grey head, upperparts and wings, a duller head pattern, an orange rump, and buff underparts. The call is a loud wheeoo.

Feeding Habits
Most foraging is done on the ground, pecking and scratching the sand for prey.  They hunt for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits
The Cape Rock-jumper is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays 2 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for about 19-21 days.
Egg-laying season is from late July-January, peaking around September-October.
The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves.

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