Rosy-throated Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae)

It is a beautiful pipit-like bird barred brown above and pink below, which separates it from other longclaws. Often retiring and inconspicuous, it prefers tropical and subtropical wet or flooded grasslands. The bird species’ call is a two-note “dhew-dhew” which is either stretched in an extended whistle or a repeated rapidly.

Read further to know more about the Rosy-throated Longclaw.

What is a Rosy-throated Longclaw?

Ros-throated Longclaw (Macronyx ameliae), also known as the Pink-Throated Longclaw or Rosy-breasted Longclaw is a bird species belonging to the Motacillidae family, a group of small passerine birds. The bird species was first described in 1845 by Marquis Léonce de Tarragon. Its specific name honor either his mother or wife who bear the same name “Amelie.”

Its seven levels of classification are as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Motacillidae

Genus: Macronyx

Species: M. ameliae

Rosy-throated Longclaw Physical Description

Rosy-throated Longclaws are slender, small long-tailed birds, growing from 7.5 to 7.9 inches long or 19 to 20 centimeters, and weighing 30 to 40 grams. Both sexes generally look alike having grayish-brown barred upperparts, distinctive pinkish throat and chin extending to the belly. However, a broad, black band occurs in the males, across the upper breast. They have unusually long hind claws, in which they got their name, which is believed to help them walk on the grass.

Where can they be spotted?

Rosy-throated Longclaws thrive in tropical and subtropical wet or flooded grasslands, edges of vleis and lakes, often those with lower vegetations. They are found across eastern and central Africa but scattered in the southern regions. These birds can be found in Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Interesting Facts You Should Know About the Rosy-throated Longclaw

Rosy-throated Longclaws primarily feeds on small insects. They usually forage on the ground for food but occasionally snatch their preys aerially. Some food items it consumes include locusts, grasshoppers. termite alates, and even frogs.

These birds are monogamous and will form strong bonds with their family. They are territorial, solitary nesters that breeds and nest in low bushes, open grasslands near shallow wetlands. Courtship antics usually includes the male singing on small shrubs and mounds and perform aerial displays, flying few inches above the grass with their feet hanging.

The female rosy-throated longclaw solely builts the nest, characterized by a deep cup, which is made of stems in the exterior, and finished with rootlets in the interior. The egg-laying season occurs from October to April, peaking in December to February.

A clutch of 2 to 3 eggs is laid, which the female will also solely incubae for about two weeks. Both sexes will tend to and feed the broods. Chicks will leave the nest after approximately 16 days.

While they are not threatened globally, their population is declining to the overgrazing of flooded pans and grasslands, and the drainage of wetlands. Nevertheless, they are still classified as Least Concern (LC) under the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.



Chobe National Park

Linyanti Swamp

Mashatu Game Reserve

Okavango Delta

Moremi Game Reserve



Hluhluwe Game Reserves

St Lucia Wetlands


Caprivi Region



Lechwe Plains

Lower Zambezi

South Luangwa

Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park


Mana Pools

Victoria Falls


Pink-throated Longclaw