Fairy Flycatcher Stenostira scita

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Identification

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A small, neat, mostly blue-gray bird with a dark mask, tail, and wings, a bold white wing-stripe, and a rose-washed pale belly. Singles and pairs flit between thorn trees, bushes, thickets, and woody gullies in the Karoo. It forages actively for insects, sometimes joining mixed-species flocks, characteristically fanning its tail and drooping its wings. The Fairy Flycatcher is resident in the south of its range but is mostly a non-breeding winter visitor farther north. Its presence is often betrayed by a distinctive high-pitched phrase of short squeaky notes typically rendered as “tseee-tseeeit-zee-tzee-tzweeet” or similar.

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