|Male Forest Batis|
The forest batis was described by the English ornithologist George Ernest Shelley in 1889 and given the binomial name Pachypora mixta. It is now placed in the genus Batis that was introduced by the German zoologist Friedrich Boie in 1833. The specific epithet mixta is Latin for "mixed" or "mingled". Reichenow's batis (Batis reichenowi) was formerly treated as a subspecies. The forest batis is now treated as monotypic.
The forest batis is a small species measuring 9.5–10 cm (3.7–3.9 in) in length and weighing 10.5–14.2 g (0.37–0.50 oz). The adult male has bluish grey upperparts with a black mask across the face, a white spot on the lores and white spots o the rump which are revealed when the long feathers are fluffed out. The underparts are white with a black breast band and blackish thighs. The wings are black with a white stripe, the bill and legs are black while the eyes are red. Females are similar in pattern but the upper part colour is more olive in tone, the wings more reddish brown and has a mottled rufous breast band and browner wings. Juveniles similar to female but markings less well differentiated. The short black tail is edged with white.
Distribution and habitat
East Africa from the south eastern coast of Kenya and north eastern Tanzania including Mount Kilimanjaro, along the northern Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania, i.e. Nguru, Nguu, Usambara Mountains, Pare and Kilimanjaro, also in coastal south eastern Tanzania.
The habits of the forest batis are little known, there have been indications of breeding behaviour in May and June in Kenya, September and October in Tanzania and a single nest with a clutch of 2 eggs has been recorded. Like other batises the largest groups seen are small family groups and pairs are territorial. Calling males make a repetitive, slow series of hu-hu-hu-hu whistles and they puff their white throat feathers out while performing this song.
- BirdLife International (2016). "Batis mixta". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016. Retrieved 26 June 2018.old-form url
- Shelley, George Ernest (1889). "On the birds collected by Mr. H.C.V. Hunter F.Z.S. in Eastern Africa". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 356-372 [359-360], plate 40.
- Boie, Friedrich (1833). "Fernere Vemertungen über Classification der Vögel". Isis von Oken (in German). 26. Col 876-884 .
- Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Batises, woodshrikes, bushshrikes, vangas". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- "Short-tailed batis (Batis mixta)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
- Harris, Tony; Franklin, Kim (2000). Shrikes and Bush-shrikes. Christopher Helm. pp. 300–301. ISBN 0-7136-3861-3.
- "A New Batis for East Africa" (PDF). Africa Birds & Birding. Percy Fitzpatrick Institutes. Retrieved 2016-11-04.
- Fjeldså, Jon; Bowie, Rauri C. K. & Kiure, Jacob (2006) The forest batis, Batis mixta, is two species: description of a new, narrowly distributed Batis species in the Eastern Arc biodiversity hotspot., Journal of Ornithology, 147 (4): 578-590.
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