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Species Guide

Marsh Tchagra

Bocagia minuta

The Marsh Tchagra, also known as the Blackcap Bush-shrike, is a passerine bird of the family Malaconotidae. It is the sole representative of the monotypic genus Bocagia. Exhibiting a modest plumage, this bird is a denizen of the marshes in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa.

Identification Tips

Adult males of the subspecies B. m. anchietae can be identified by their distinctive appearance, while females of the subspecies B. m. remotus display their own unique characteristics. Observers should note the subtle differences in plumage between the sexes and subspecies for accurate identification.


The Marsh Tchagra thrives in a variety of wetland habitats. It is typically found in subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, and swamps, where it can blend into the dense vegetation.


This species has a broad range across central Africa, with sightings confirmed in numerous countries including Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


The Marsh Tchagra's behavior is characteristic of its genus, with habits and mannerisms that are well-adapted to its marshland habitat. Observations of its behavior can provide insights into its daily life and survival strategies in the wild.

Song & Calls

The vocalizations of the Marsh Tchagra are an essential aspect of its presence in the marshes. Its calls and songs punctuate the air, serving as communication among individuals and marking its territory.


Breeding behaviors of the Marsh Tchagra, including courtship, nesting, and rearing of young, are integral to the continuation of the species. These rituals and practices ensure the survival of the species from one generation to the next.

Similar Species

While the Marsh Tchagra may resemble other species within its range, careful observation can distinguish it from its congeners. Noting the differences in plumage, calls, and habitat preferences can aid in differentiating this species from similar ones.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Marsh Tchagra consists of various insects and other small invertebrates. Its feeding habits are adapted to its marshland environment, where it forages among the vegetation for sustenance.

Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Marsh Tchagra as Least Concern, indicating that the species, at present, does not face any imminent threat of extinction. However, ongoing monitoring of its population and habitat is essential to ensure its continued survival.

Marsh Tchagra Sounds

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Marsh Tchagras on Birda


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