Familiar Chat | Cercomela familiaris

Roberts Birding Information: Familiar Chat

The Familiar Chat is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Muscicapidae bird family group which includes birds such as Thrushes, Robins, Chats, Old World Flycatchers.Familiar Chat Picture

The description for the Familiar Chat (Latin name Cercomela familiaris) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Cercomela familiaris can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 589 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 955. You will find a picture of the Familiar Chat on page 961.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.Familiar Chat

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Familiar Chat between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Familiar Chat is known in Afrikaans as Gewone Spekvreter.

The Familiar Chat has a height of 15 cms and weighs around 22 gms. The head is coloured grey, brown while the bill is coloured black. The Cercomela familiaris has a grey coloured throat, black legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey, brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is grey.

Back is brown.

Familiar Chat Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Cercomela familiaris attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The Cercomela familiaris forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Familiar Chat Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Familiar Chat is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 3 eggs and they are coloured green.

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The Familiar Chat is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Familiar Chat is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.