Sarothruridae – Flufftails

Buff-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura elegans) ©©kibuyu

Buff-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura elegans) ©©kibuyu

But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; (Job 12:7 NKJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – GRUIFORMES, Family – Sarothruridae – Flufftails

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Species (11)

Madagascan Wood Rail (Mentocrex kioloides)
Tsingy Wood Rail (Mentocrex beankaensis)
White-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura pulchra)
Buff-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura elegans)
Red-chested Flufftail (Sarothrura rufa)
Chestnut-headed Flufftail (Sarothrura lugens)
Streaky-breasted Flufftail (Sarothrura boehmi)
Striped Flufftail (Sarothrura affinis)
Madagascan Flufftail (Sarothrura insularis)
White-winged Flufftail (Sarothrura ayresi)
Slender-billed Flufftail (Sarothrura watersi)


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The flufftails are a genus, Sarothrura, of small birds in the rail family. The genus is restricted to seven species distributed across sub-Saharan Africa, and two species found in Madagascar. The group’s common name is derived from the short tail which has degraded fluffy feathers. All species except the White-winged Flufftail display sexual dimorphism in their plumage but not their size.

Flufftails are highly secretive and seldom observed. Two species, the Buff-spotted Flufftail and the White-spotted Flufftail, are inhabitants of dense forests, the remaining species are found in deep grasslands and marshes. One species, Streaky-breasted Flufftail, is known to be migratory, it is uncertain whether other species are as well; the White-winged Flufftail may breed in Ethiopia and winter in South Africa but this is not known for certain. (Wikipedia with editing)

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