In June and July 2003, a study was carried out by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania to determine the bird’s distribution and abundance in the Wembere Steppe. This project also examined the habitat requirements and potential factors limiting the range of this bird. Prior to this project, very little was known of the ecological needs of the Karamoja apalis (4). The following information is the result of this study.
The Karamoja apalis tends to sing in the first and last few hours of daylight. They sing in pairs, or in family groups consisting of a pair and several juveniles. When singing, they typically occupy the upper foliage of whistling thorn, and adopt an upright stance with drooped wings. The tail is sometimes wagged upwards repeatedly. Whilst foraging, the bird can be difficult to see, as its plumage blends in well with the thorn trees in which it lives. They feed mainly at heights of 1.0 to 2.5 metres in whistling thorn, taking invertebrates from leaves, thorns and galls. Whilst foraging, birds were occasionally observed spreading their tail and wagging it sideways- perhaps to flush out insects or to maintain their balance (4).