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Mesitornithiformes > Mesitornithidae

Subdesert Mesite

Monias benschi

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Identification

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Odd ground-dwelling bird that is rarely seen by those not looking for it. Males have pale underparts with dark spots, while females have heavy reddish markings below. Generally in small groups, though most often seen singly in defense posture, frozen in a tree, after being flushed by a local guide. Loud call starts with inquisitive “tsik” calls, then ends with a loose rattle; usually given in strident chorus by multiple birds. Walks on the ground like Madagascar Buttonquail, but much larger and longer-tailed. Smaller, shorter-legged, and shorter-tailed than the couas. 

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Subdesert Mesite

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