Tractrac Chat | Cercomela tractrac

Robert's Birding Information: Tractrac Chat

The Tractrac 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.

The description for the Tractrac Chat (Latin name Cercomela tractrac) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Cercomela tractrac can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 590 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 954. You will find a picture of the Tractrac 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.

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 Tractrac Chat between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Tractrac Chat is known in Afrikaans as Woestynspekvreter.

The Tractrac Chat is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Cercomela tractrac can be found in other parts of the world.

The Tractrac Chat has a height of 15 cms and weighs around 20 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Cercomela tractrac has a white coloured throat, black legs and a grey 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.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is white.

Back is grey.

Tractrac Chat Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

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

Tractrac Chat Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Tractrac 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 red.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

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

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.