Grey-backed Camaroptera

Camaroptera brevicaudata

Have you ever heard the sound that insects make when hitting an electric fence or the sound of rocks banging together or the vocalization of lambs? If so, you may well have heard a grey-backed camaroptera, and will now have some idea how to recognize one in the field. Personally I prefer its previous name; grey-backed bleating warbler. Bleating being the perfect adjective to describe this wren-like bird’s somewhat annoying, alarm call.

This little warbler is very similar to its green-backed cousin, (and may even be the same species) but has a grey not green back and typically occurs in drier habitats.

We first recorded this species in October 2010 while walking along the Moretele river in Borakalalo National Park. It was the beginning of breeding season and we watched as a pair noisily courted one another in the tree canopy. There was lots of wing-snapping, tail fanning and jumping up and down, making it an exciting first encounter.


Grey-backed Camaroptera / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, Central Namibia  / 29 July 2012 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-backed Camaropotera / Benoue National Park, Cameroon / January 2017 Grey-backed Camaropotera / Benoue National Park, Cameroon / January 2017 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Nxai Pans, Botswana / 20 April 2011 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, Central Namibia  / 29 July 2012 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Nxai Pans, Botswana / 20 April 2011 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Nxai Pans, Botswana / 20 April 2011 Grey-backed Camaroptera / Shamvura, Northern Namibia / 20 July 2012
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