Dark-faced Ground Tyrant
Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Dark-faced Ground TyrantMuscisaxicola macloviana macloviana
Local Name: News Bird
Breeding Range: Falkland Islands
Falklands Population: ~20,000 breeding pairs
World Population: as above (subspecies restricted to Falklands)
The Dark-faced Ground Tyrant is common in most parts of the Falkland Islands, and the subspecies Muscisaxicola macloviana macloviana is restricted to the Falklands. Its favoured habitat is open heath and grassland, from coast to mountain tops. Nests of vegetation lined with wool and feathers are made under rocky crevices or stone runs, and 2 to 3 eggs are laid during November and December. Dark-faced Ground Tyrants feed on a wide variety of invertebrates. Their agile flight enables them to catch moths and other insects on the wing, but they also hunt amongst rocks, heath, grassland and rotting seaweed for terrestrial and marine invertebrates. They are relatively short-lived, and populations vary considerably from year to year, depending largely on the severity of the winter. Sexes are similar in appearance.