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Piapiac - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 18:54, 8 February 2009 by Wintibird (talk | contribs)
Photo by obasanmi
The Gambia
Ptilostomus afer

Identification

Black, purple gloss, silky feathers, black bill, legs and feet.

Distribution

Central Africa from Senegal on the west coast, eastwards in a broad band to Sudan and southern Ethiopia.

Taxonomy

The Piapiac (Ptilostomus afer) is a member of the crow family, and is the only member of the genus Ptilostomus. According to recent findings, it is most closely related to the Central Asian ground jays (genus Podoces) (Ericson et al., J. Avian Biol 36: 222-234, 2005).

Habitat

Cultivated land with fields and pasture and small associated towns and villages.

Behaviour

Diet includes insects, invertebrates, carrion, fruit.

They build their nests in trees, often a palm, and use palm leaves, grass stems, and mud to form a cup which is lined with palm fibre. 3-7 pale blue eggs are laid.

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