Most beautiful small birds - Sykalo Eugen 2024

Longclaw (Macronyx capensis, Macronyx croceus)


  • Species: Longclaw (refers to a group of songbirds within the genus Macronyx)
  • Scientific name: Varies depending on the specific species (e.g., Macronyx capensis, Macronyx croceus)
  • Family: Motacillidae (Wagtails and pipits)
  • Order: Passeriformes (Songbirds)
  • Subclass: Neornithes (Modern birds)
  • Class: Aves (Birds)


  • Size: Medium-sized songbirds, ranging from 15-25 cm (6-10 in) in length.
  • Body shape: Slender and elegant, with long, slender legs and a long tail (often longer than their body).
  • Plumage color: Variable depending on the species, often with brown, buff, and black markings. Some species have distinctive yellow or orange underparts.
  • Beak: Slender and pointed, adapted for probing and catching insects.
  • Legs: Long and slender, well-suited for walking and running on the ground.
  • Tail: Long and often graduated, sometimes with white outer feathers that flash in flight.


  • Method of feeding: Forage on the ground, walking or running while searching for insects, worms, and other small invertebrates. Probe the ground with their beaks or catch insects in mid-air.
  • Reproduction: Build cup-shaped nests on the ground, often in grassy areas or near water. Lay 2-6 eggs, which are incubated by both parents.
  • Movement: Most species are resident, but some may undertake local movements or short migrations.
  • Communication: Loud, melodious songs, often with trills and whistles. Also use calls for alarm and communication.


  • Habitat: Grasslands, wetlands, marshes, and open woodlands. Prefer areas with tall grasses or reeds.
  • Diet: Insects, worms, other small invertebrates, and some seeds.
  • Hunting methods: Forage on the ground, probing the soil with their beaks or catching insects in mid-air.

Distribution: Found in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Specific distribution varies depending on the species.


The Longclaws, feathered dancers on stilts, might appear like elegant residents of African grasslands at first glance. But beneath their slender legs and melodious songs lies a treasure trove of surprising facts and adaptations that will transform these sky serenaders into captivating avian acrobats, champion grassland guardians, and unexpected social swingers in your eyes.

Masters of the Grassland Glide: Forget clumsy hops; Longclaws reign supreme in the domain of open plains. Their powerful legs and elongated toes propel them over tall grasses with surprising agility, gliding and weaving through the blades like feathered ballerinas on miniature pogo sticks. Imagine them as grassland parkour experts with built-in miniature hoverboards.

Hidden Feasting Technique: Don't underestimate their dietary flexibility! While insects are a staple, Longclaws are opportunistic omnivores, readily adapting their menu to seasonal bounty. From juicy seeds and tender shoots to berries and even the occasional small lizard, their varied appetite keeps them fueled for energetic foraging sessions. Think of them as feathered gourmands with built-in miniature buffets hidden within the tall grasses.

Unexpected Social Swingers: They're not just graceful solo acts. Longclaws are surprisingly social creatures, living in loose-knit groups and engaging in communal displays. They chase each other through the grasslands in playful flurries, their long legs mimicking a feathered can-can, and even perform synchronized aerial dives, painting the sky with fleeting patterns of black and white. Imagine them as sky synchronized swimmers with built-in miniature trapezes.

Singing with Soaring Soul: Their songs aren't just chirps and whistles. Longclaws possess a rich and complex repertoire, with melodic whistles, intricate trills, and even rhythmic duets with their mates. Their voices rise above the grassland like feathered opera singers, serenading the open skies with their soaring souls.

Symbiotic Symphony: Longclaws play a vital role in the grassland ecosystem. By dispersing seeds through their droppings, they help maintain the health and diversity of these vast landscapes. These feathered gardeners also control insect populations, contributing to the delicate balance of the grassland food chain.

Cultural Charmers: In some African cultures, the Longclaw is associated with abundance, joy, and the harmonious rhythm of the open plains. Its graceful movements and melodious songs inspire awe and respect, making it a treasured symbol of the region's vibrant landscapes and enduring spirit.

Unexpected Regional Variations: Did you know? Not all Longclaws are the same! Different species like the Cape Longclaw and the Yellow-throated Longclaw boast subtle variations in plumage color and song patterns, adding a touch of feathered diversity to this adaptable family.