Rockjumper

The rockjumpers are medium-sized insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Chaetops, which constitutes the entire family Chaetopidae. The two species, the Cape rockjumper, Chaetops frenatus, and the Drakensberg rockjumper, Chaetops aurantius, are endemic residents of southern Africa.[1] The Cape rockjumper is a resident of the West Cape and south-west East Cape, and the orange-breasted (or Drakensberg) rockjumper is distributed in the Lesotho Highlands and areas surrounding them in South Africa. The two rockjumpers have been treated as separate species but differ in size and plumage. The ranges do not overlap, but come close to doing so.

Rockjumpers
Cape Rock-Jumper
Cape rockjumper (Chaetops frenatus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Chaetopidae
Genus: Chaetops
Swainson, 1832
Species

Chaetops frenatus
Chaetops aurantius

Taxonomy and systematics

Originally, these birds were placed in the thrushes, and they have also been placed with the Old World warblers and the babblers, but recent DNA studies indicate these birds are actually members of a basal group within the infraorder Passerida along with the rockfowl (Picatharthidae), a family in which they are sometimes placed.[2]

Some authorities (notably Dickinson and Christidis) treat the two rockjumpers as a single species, Chaetops frenatus, with two subspecies.[3]

Description

These are small birds with mostly black, white, and red plumage. Both species have long, white tipped black tails, black throats, broad white submoustachial lines and eyebrows, rufous or orange bellies and rumps, and grey and black patterned backs and wings. Females have similar pattern to males, but duller.[1] The iris is red and the bills and legs are black. Their wings are very small and they do not fly very often. They spend most of their lives running and jumping among rocks and grasses while hunting insects.

Behaviour and ecology

Diet and feeding

The rockjumpers feed in groups, foraging on the ground. The groups can number up to 6 birds (for Cape) and 12 birds (for Drakensberg), but the groups may also spread out quite widely during feeding.[4][5] Insects are the major part of the diet, although small vertebrates are reported to be taken by Cape rockjumpers.[4] A range of insects are taken, including caterpillars, moths, grasshoppers, beetles and flies. In addition to insects other prey include lizards and geckos, amphibians, scorpions, annelid worms and spiders.

Breeding

They are monogamous and pairs establish territories which are defended year round. In the Cape rockjumper the territories vary in size from 4–11 ha (10–27 acres). Both species employ helpers, usually the young of previous broods, to aid the breeding pair in raising the young.[6] Nests are built out of grass on the ground (in contrast to rockfowl, which build mud nests in colonies).[7] The clutch size is two eggs for the Cape and two to three eggs for the Drakensberg.[1] Both sexes incubate the clutch for 19–21 days. Chicks fledge at 19–21 days, although they are fed by the parents and helpers for up to 2 weeks following fledge.

References

  1. ^ a b c del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A. & Christie D. (editors). (2007). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-84-96553-42-2
  2. ^ Boyd, John. "TiF Checklist: BASAL PASSERIDA". jboyd.net. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  3. ^ Lepage, Denis. "Chaetops [frenatus or aurantius] (Rock Jumper) - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b Collar, N., Robson, C. & Sharpe, C.J. (2017). Cape Rockjumper (Chaetops frenatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/59691 on 4 July 2017).
  5. ^ Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2017). Drakensberg Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/59692 on 4 July 2017).
  6. ^ Holmes R, Frauenknecht B, & M Du Plessis (2002) "Breeding System of the Cape Rockjumper, a South African Fynbos Endemic" Condor 104 (1): 188–192 doi:10.1650/0010-5422(2002)104[0188:BSOTCR]2.0.CO;2
  7. ^ Thompson, Hazell S. (2003). "Rockjumpers and Rockfowl". In Christopher Perrins (ed.). Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Firefly Books. p. 515. ISBN 1-55297-777-3.
1867 in birding and ornithology

Birds described in 1867 include short-tailed finch, Mascarene coot (subfossil, Tongatapu rail (known only from brief descriptions of a specimen, now lost and a painting) Drakensberg rockjumper, Darwin's nothura, yellow-shouldered grosbeak, helmeted honeyeater, rufous scrubbird,

Death of Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied

Death of Prideaux John Selby

Death of John MacGillivray

Death of Filippo de Filippi

Alphonse Milne-Edwards Recherches anatomiques et paléontologiques pour servir à l'histoire des oiseaux fossiles de la France.1867-71 Online at Gallica Bibliothèque nationale de France

Foundation of Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di GenovaExpeditions

1865–1868 Magenta circumnavigation of the globe Italian expedition that made important scientific observations in South America.Ongoing events

John Gould The birds of Australia; Supplement 1851-69. 1 vol. 81 plates; Artists: J. Gould and H. C. Richter; Lithographer: H. C. Richter

John Gould The birds of Asia; 1850-83 7 vols. 530 plates, Artists: J. Gould, H. C. Richter, W. Hart and J. Wolf; Lithographers:H. C. Richter and W. Hart

Archer's lark

Archer's lark (Heteromirafra archeri) is a species of lark in the family Alaudidae. It is found in Somalia and Ethiopia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland and subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland. It is threatened by habitat loss. The bird’s common name and binomial commemorate the British explorer and colonial official Sir Geoffrey Francis Archer.

Australasian robin

The bird family Petroicidae includes 49 species in 19 genera. All are endemic to Australasia: New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand and numerous Pacific Islands as far east as Samoa. For want of an accurate common name, the family is often called the Australasian robins. Within the family the species are known not only as robins but as scrub-robins and flyrobins. They are, however, only distantly related to the Old World family Muscicapidae (to which other species with such names belong) and the monarch flycatchers (Monarchidae).

Cape rockjumper

The Cape rockjumper or rufous rockjumper (Chaetops frenatus) is a medium-sized insectivorous passerine bird endemic to the mountain fynbos of southernmost South Africa.

This is a ground-nesting species which forages on rocky slopes and scree. It frequently perches on rocks. Breeding groups occupy 4–11 ha territories, and typically consist of a breeding pair and one or two additional individuals, usually offspring of the adult pair from the preceding breeding season. These helpers participate in territorial defence and alarm calling, and in the feeding of nestlings and fledglings of the breeding pair. Females also help with nest building and incubation.

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.

The closely related Drakensberg rockjumper, Chaetops aurantius, does not overlap in range. The male of that species has orange underparts, and the female and young are paler below than the rufous rock-jumper.

Drakensberg

The Drakensberg (Afrikaans: Drakensberge, Zulu: uKhahlamba, Sotho: Maluti) is the name given to the eastern portion of the Great Escarpment, which encloses the central Southern African plateau. The Great Escarpment reaches its greatest elevation in this region – 2,000 to 3,482 metres (6,562 to 11,424 feet). It is located in South Africa and Lesotho.

The Drakensberg escarpment stretches for over 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from the Eastern Cape Province in the South, then successively forms, in order from south to north, the border between Lesotho and the Eastern Cape and the border between Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal Province. Thereafter it forms the border between KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State, and next as the border between KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga Province. It winds north, through Mpumalanga, where it includes features such as the Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondavels and God's Window. It moves north again to Hoedspruit in South eastern Limpopo where it is known as 'Klein Drankensberg' by the Afrikaner, from Hoedspruit it moves west to Tzaneen also in Limpopo Province, where it is known as the Wolkberg Mountains and Iron Crown Mountain, at 2,200 m (7,200 ft) above sea level, the Wolkberg being the highest mountain range in Limpopo. It veers west again and at Mokopane it is known as the Strydpoort Mountains.

Drakensberg rockjumper

The Drakensberg rockjumper or orange-breasted rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius) is a medium-sized insectivorous passerine bird endemic to the alpine grasslands and rock outcrops of the Drakensberg Mountains of southeastern South Africa and Lesotho. This taxon is closely related to the allopatric Cape rockjumper Chaetops frenatus; the two species of Chaetops are the only living members of the Chaetopidae (rockjumper family).

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. The underparts are orange and the rump is 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. The Cape rockjumper male has rufous red underparts, and the female and young are darker buff below than in C. aurantius.This is a ground-nesting species which forages on rocky slopes and scree. It frequently perches on rocks. Breeding is often cooperative; one or two additional individuals, usually a pair's offspring of the preceding breeding season, may assist the parents in territorial defence and alarm calling, and in the feeding of nestlings and fledglings.

Lesotho Highlands

The Lesotho Highlands are formed by the Drakensberg and Maloti mountain ranges in the east and central parts of the country of Lesotho. Foothills form a divide between the lowlands and the highlands. Snow is common in the highlands in the winter.

List of birds by common name

In this list of birds by common name, a total of 9,722 extant and recently extinct bird species are recognised, belonging to a total of 204 families.

List of birds of Africa

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Africa. The area covered by this list is the Africa region defined by the American Birding Association's listing rules. In addition to the continent itself, the area includes Socotra in the Arabian Sea, Zanzibar, the Canary Islands, and São Tomé, Príncipe, and Annobon in the Gulf of Guinea. It does not include Madeira, the Azores, Cape Verde, the Sinai Peninsula, Madagascar, Seychelles or the Comoro Islands.

This list is that of the African Bird Club (ABC) supplemented by Bird Checklists of the World (Avibase) and The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World.This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families, and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) are those of the Clements list. Taxonomic changes are on-going. As more research is gathered from studies of distribution, behavior, and DNA, the names, sequence, and number of families and species change every year. Furthermore, different approaches to ornithological nomenclature have led to concurrent systems of classification (see Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy). Differences in common and scientific names between the Clements taxonomy and that of the ABC are frequent but are seldom noted here.

List of birds of Lesotho

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Lesotho. The avifauna of Lesotho include a total of 358 species, of which 60 are rare or accidental and four have been introduced by humans. One species has been extirpated. Unless otherwise noted, the list is that of iGoTerra.This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Lesotho

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Lesotho as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

(Ex) Extirpated - a species that no longer occurs in Lesotho although populations exist elsewhere

List of birds of South Africa

South Africa is a large country, ranked 25th by size in the world, and is situated in the temperate latitudes and subtropics. Due to a range of climate types present, a patchwork of unique habitat types occur, which contribute to its biodiversity and level of endemism. This list incorporates the mainland and nearshore islands and waters only. The submerged though ecologically important Agulhas Bank is for most part inside its territorial waters. Offshore, South Africa's territory includes the Prince Edward Islands in the Subantarctic Indian Ocean.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition. Taxonomic changes are on-going. As more research is gathered from studies of distribution, behaviour and DNA, the order and number of families and species may change. Furthermore, different approaches to ornithological nomenclature have led to concurrent systems of classification (see Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy and IOU taxonomy).

Unless otherwise noted, the list is that of BirdLife South Africa (BLSA). Notes in the status column are also from this source. Notes of population status, such as "Endangered", refer to the worldwide population, not the South African part of it. Unless otherwise noted in the "status" column, the species is a resident or regularly-occurring migrant.

"Vagrant" means the species rarely or accidentally occurs in South Africa.

"Endemic" means the species is found only in South Africa.

"SLS endemic" means the species is found only in South Africa and the Kingdoms of Lesotho and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). Lesotho is surrounded by South Africa and Eswatini nearly so.This list contains 849 species according to the Clements taxonomy. The BLSA list includes additional entries as species which Clements considers subspecies; some of them are noted. According to BLSA, 18 species are endemic, 20 are SLS endemic, and 11 have been introduced by humans. Clements describes only 16 as endemic and 15 as SLS endemic. Of the 849, 125 are considered vagrants.

List of birds of Southern Africa

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Southern Africa. Southern Africa is defined as Africa south of a line between the Kunene and Zambezi rivers, encompassing Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, mainland South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and southern and central Mozambique, as well as oceanic waters within 200 nautical miles (370 km) of the coast, covering approximately 3.5 million square kilometres.

List of endemic birds of southern Africa

The following is a list of bird species endemic or near-endemic to southern Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and southern Mozambique).

Grey-winged francolin, Scleroptila africanus

Orange River francolin, Scleroptila levaillantoides

Red-billed spurfowl (red-billed francolin), Pternistes adspersus

Cape spurfowl (Cape francolin), Pternistes capensis

Natal spurfowl (Natal francolin), Pternistes natalensis

South African shelduck, Tadorna cana

Cape shoveler, Anas smithii

Hottentot buttonquail, Turnix hottentotta

Knysna woodpecker, Campethera notata

Ground woodpecker, Geocolaptes olivaceus

Acacia pied barbet, Tricholaema leucomelas

Monteiro's hornbill (Damara hornbill), Tockus monteiri

Southern yellow-billed hornbill, Tockus leucomelas

Bradfield's hornbill, Tockus bradfieldi

White-backed mousebird, Colius colius

Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus

Ruppell's parrot, Poicephalus rueppellii

Rosy-faced lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis

Bradfield's swift, Apus bradfieldi

Knysna turaco, Tauraco corythaix

Ludwig's bustard, Neotis ludwigii

Red-crested korhaan, Eupodotis ruficrista

Southern black korhaan (black bustard), Afrotis afra (Eupodotis afra)

Northern black korhaan (white-quilled bustard), Afrotis afraoides (Eupodotis afraoides)

Ruppell's korhaan, Eupodotis rueppellii

Karoo korhaan, Eupodotis vigorsii

Blue korhaan, Eupodotis caerulescens

Blue crane, Anthropoides paradiseus

Namaqua sandgrouse, Pterocles namaqua

Double-banded sandgrouse, Pterocles bicinctus

Burchell's sandgrouse, Pterocles burchelli

Burchell's courser, Cursorius rufus

Hartlaub's gull, Larus hartlaubii

Cape vulture, Gyps coprotheres

Black harrier, Circus maurus

Southern pale chanting goshawk, Melierax canorus

Forest buzzard, Buteo trizonatus

Jackal buzzard, Buteo rufofuscus

Crowned cormorant, Phalacrocorax coronatus

Bank cormorant, Phalacrocorax neglectus

Southern bald ibis, Geronticus calvus

African penguin, Spheniscus demersus

Southern tchagra, Tchagra tchagra

Southern boubou, Laniarius ferrugineus

Crimson-breasted shrike, Laniarius atrococcineus

Bokmakierie, Telophorus zeylonus

Olive bushshrike, Telophorus olivaceus

White-tailed shrike, Lanioturdus torquatus

Cape batis, Batis capensis

Pririt batis, Batis pririt

Southern white-crowned shrike, Eurocephalus anguitimens

Cape rockjumper, Chaetops frenatus

Drakensberg rockjumper, Chaetops aurantius

Cape penduline tit, Anthoscopus minutus

Carp's tit, Parus carpi

Ashy tit, Parus cinerascens

Grey tit, Parus afer

African red-eyed bulbul, Pycnonotus nigricans

Cape bulbul, Pycnonotus capensis

Fairy flycatcher, Stenostira scita

Rockrunner, Achaetops pycnopygius

Cape grassbird, Sphenoeacus afer

Victorin's warbler, Bradypterus victorini

Karoo eremomela, Eremomela gregalis

Knysna warbler, Bradypterus sylvaticus

Barratt's warbler, Bradypterus barratti

Black-faced babbler, Turdoides melanops

Southern pied babbler, Turdoides bicolor

Bush blackcap, Lioptilus nigricapillus

Layard's tit-babbler, Parisoma layardi

Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Parisoma subcaeruleum

Cape white-eye, Zosterops virens

Orange River white-eye, Zosterops pallidus

Grey-backed cisticola, Cisticola subruficapillus

Rufous-winged cisticola, Cisticola galactotes

Cloud cisticola, Cisticola textrix

Black-chested prinia, Prinia flavicans

Karoo prinia, Prinia maculosa

Drakensberg prinia, Prinia hypoxantha

Namaqua warbler, Phragmacia substriata

Robert's warbler, Oreophilais robertsi

Rufous-eared warbler, Malcorus pectoralis

Rudd's apalis, Apalis ruddi

Chirinda apalis, Apalis chirindensis

Barred wren-warbler, Calamonastes fasciolatus

Cinnamon-breasted warbler, Euryptila subcinnamomea

Monotonous lark, Mirafra passerina

Melodious lark, Mirafra cheniana

Cape clapper lark, Mirafra apiata

Eastern clapper lark, Mirafra fasciolata

Sabota lark (incl. Bradfield's), Mirafra sabota

Fawn-coloured lark, Calendulauda africanoides

Rudd's lark, Heteromirafra ruddi

Red lark, Certhilauda burra

Karoo lark, Certhilauda albescens

Barlow's lark, Certhilauda barlowi

Dune lark, Certhilauda erythrochlamys

Cape long-billed lark, Certhilauda curvirostris

Agulhas long-billed lark, Certhilauda brevirostris

Eastern long-billed lark, Certhilauda semitorquata

Karoo long-billed lark, Certhilauda subcoronata

Short-clawed lark, Certhilauda chuana

Gray's lark, Ammomanes grayi

Spike-heeled lark, Chersomanes albofasciata

Black-eared sparrow-lark, Eremopterix australis

Grey-backed sparrow-lark, Eremopterix verticalis

Stark's lark, Eremalauda starki

Pink-billed lark, Spizocorys conirostris

Botha's lark, Spizocorys fringillaris

Sclater's lark, Spizocorys sclateri

Large-billed lark, Galerida magnirostris

Cape rock thrush, Monticola rupestris

Sentinel rock thrush, Monticola explorator

Short-toed rock thrush Monticola brevipes

Karoo thrush Turdus smithi

Chat flycatcher, Bradornis infuscatus

Marico flycatcher, Bradornis mariquensis

Fiscal flycatcher, Sigelus silens

White-throated robin-chat, Cossypha humeralis

Chorister robin-chat, Cossypha dichroa

Brown scrub robin, Cercotrichas signata

Kalahari scrub robin, Cercotrichas paena

Karoo scrub robin, Cercotrichas coryphaeus

Herero chat, Namibornis herero

Buff-streaked chat, Oenanthe bifasciata

Mountain wheatear, Oenanthe monticola

Sickle-winged chat, Cercomela sinuata

Karoo chat, Cercomela schlegelii

Tractrac chat, Cercomela tractrac

Anteating chat, Myrmecocichla formicivora

Boulder chat, Pinarornis plumosus

Pale-winged starling, Onychognathus nabouroup

Burchell's starling, Lamprotornis australis

Pied starling, Spreo bicolor

Gurney's sugarbird, Promerops gurneyi

Cape sugarbird, Promerops cafer

Orange-breasted sunbird, Anthobaphes violacea

Southern double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris chalybea

Greater double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris afra

Neergaard's sunbird, Cinnyris neergaardi

Dusky sunbird, Cinnyris fusca

Great sparrow, Passer motitensis

Cape sparrow, Passer melanurus

Cape longclaw, Macronyx capensis

Yellow-breasted pipit, Anthus chloris

African rock pipit, Anthus crenatus

Scaly-feathered finch, Sporopipes squamifrons

Sociable weaver, Philetairus socius

Cape weaver, Ploceus capensis

Pink-throated twinspot, Hypargos margaritatus

Swee waxbill, Estrilda melanotis

Red-headed finch, Amadina erythrocephala

Shaft-tailed whydah, Vidua regia

Forest canary, Crithagra scotops

Lemon-breasted canary, Crithagra citrinipectus

Yellow canary, Crithagra flaviventris

White-throated canary, Crithagra albogularis

Protea canary, Crithagra leucoptera

Cape siskin, Crithagra totta

Drakensberg siskin, Crithagra symonsi

Cape canary, Serinus canicollis

Black-headed canary, Serinus alario

Lark-like bunting, Emberiza impetuani

Cape bunting, Emberiza capensis

List of least concern birds

As of May 2019, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 8405 least concern avian species. 76% of all evaluated avian species are listed as least concern.

No subpopulations of birds have been evaluated by the IUCN.

This is a complete list of least concern avian species evaluated by the IUCN. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

Rockrunner

The rockrunner (Achaetops pycnopygius), also known as the Damara rock-jumper, is a species of African warbler, formerly placed in the Sylviidae family. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Achaetops.

It is found in Angola and Namibia.

Ts'ehlanyane National Park

Ts'ehlanyane National Park is a National Park in Lesotho. It is located in the Maloti Mountains in Butha-Buthe District, and is part of the larger Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation Area. This Lesotho northern park protects a high-altitude, 2,600-metre (8,500 ft) patch of rugged wilderness, including one of Lesotho’s only stands of indigenous forest with a number of rare undergrowth plants that are unique to this woodland habitat.

The name "Ts'ehlanyane" is the local common name for the berg bamboo (Thamnocalamus tessellatus), from which the river and park take their name. It is fitting that the park should bear the name of this Drakensberg endemic plant, as it may be the most important refuge for this plant in the entire Maloti-Drakensberg mountain range.

UMgeni Vlei Nature Reserve

The uMgeni Vlei Nature Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa protects several threatened bird species.

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