Long-billed Forest Warbler

Information about the Bird Long-billed Forest Warbler

The long-billed forest warbler (Artisornis moreaui), also known as the long-billed tailorbird, is a songbird of the family Cisticolidae, formerly part of the "Old World warbler" assemblage. It is found in Mozambique and Tanzania. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat destruction.

The long-billed forest warbler is a small, plump, inconspicuous warbler, growing to a length of about 10cm (4in). The upper parts are greyish and the underparts a rather paler grey. The head sometimes has a brownish tinge, and bears filoplumes. The beak is long and slender, and the tail is long and is frequently cocked when the bird is excited. The call is a distinctive metallic "peedoo peedoo"; this bird is easier to detect by hearing its call than by sight. It is similar in appearance to the red-capped forest warbler (Artisornis metopias), but that species has a much shorter beak, a more russet head and a rust-washed breast.
This species is endemic to the East Usambara plateau in Tanzania and the Njesi Plateau in northern Mozambique. These locations are separated by 1,000km (621mi) and the bird is not known to occur in the intervening area. In Tanzania it is present in the Amani Nature Reserve and the Nilo Nature Reserve. The East Usambara plateau is known as a biodiversity hotspot and has many endemic species.
A. moreaui has a small total area of occurrence which is estimated to be approximately 950km2 (367sqmi). It is an uncommon, and elusive species occurring at a low density, and the total number of mature birds is estimated to be thirty to two hundred. On this basis, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being "critically endangered"; however if its range turns out to be more extensive than is currently recognised, its rating is likely to be lowered to a less threatened category.

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