Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology

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Montane forest birds in winter: do they regularly move to lower altitudes? Observations from the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Adrian J.F.K. Craig, Patrick E. Hulley


Seasonal altitudinal migration to lower altitudes including the coast has been ascribed to a number of forest birds, of which 14 species occur at Fort Fordyce Reserve in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Based on our observations and ringing at this site (2007–2017), as well as concurrent data from the South African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP2), we suggest that in this region only three species, the African Dusky Flycatcher Muscicapa adusta, White-starred Robin Pogonocichla stellata and Barratt’s Warbler Bradypterus barratti, are regular altitudinal migrants. For two other species, the Grey Cuckooshrike Coracina caesia and Yellow-throated Woodland Warbler Phylloscopus ruficapilla, local movements apparently occur, but these may take place within the coastal zone rather than between the coast and inland forests.

Keywords: altitudinal migration, Bradypterus, Coracina, Cossypha, Muscicapa, Phylloscopus, Pogonocichla, ringing, seasonal distribution

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