Familiar Chat ( Cercomela familiaris, family: Muscicapidae)

Familiar Chat Kruger National Park birds The Familiar Chat (Latin name Cercomela familiaris) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 589 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 955 also a picture of the Familiar Chat on page 961. The Familiar Chat belongs to the family of birds classified as Muscicapidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Familiar Chat is also known by these other names: Red-tailed Chat.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Familiar Chat is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Familiar Chat in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Familiar Chat : see above distribution map.

The Familiar Chat.

Kruger Park Familiar ChatIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Familiar Chat is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Familiar Chat is about 15 cms and its weight is about 22 gms

The male and female Familiar Chat have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is grey, brown.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is grey.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Familiar Chat feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly




Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Familiar Chat is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Cercomela familiaris will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Familiar Chat is to create the nest in a hole in a tree trunk. The bird lays eggs which are green in colour and number between 2 to 3

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Familiar Chat are: woodlands and grasslands and riverine areas

You can expect to see Familiar Chat in flocks, or pairs or as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Isikretyane/Unongungu

Zulu ... umBexe

Afrikaans ...Gewone Spekvreter

German ... Rostschwanzschmtzer, Rostschwanz

Portuguese ... Chasco-familiar

French ... Traquet familier

Dutch ... Roodstaart-Spekvreter

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 589

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za