Cape Rock-jumper | Chaetops frenatus

Robert's Birding Information: Cape Rockjumper

The Cape Rock-jumper is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Chaetopidae bird family group which includes birds such as Rock-jumpers.

The description for the Cape Rock-jumper (Latin name Chaetops frenatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Chaetops frenatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 611 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 734. You will find a picture of the Cape Rock-jumper on page 800.

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 Cape Rock-jumper between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Cape Rock-jumper is known in Afrikaans as Kaapse Berglyster.

The Cape Rock-jumper is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Cape Rock-jumper has a height of 25 cms and weighs around 60 gms. The head is coloured silver while the bill is coloured black. The Chaetops frenatus has a grey coloured throat, black legs and a silver, grey coloured back. The eyes are red.

The male Chaetops frenatus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

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 silver.

Eyes are red.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is grey.

Back is silver, grey.

Cape Rockjumper Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Cape Rock-jumper strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

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

Cape Rock Jumper Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Cape Rock-jumper 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 eggs and they are coloured white.

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.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Cape Rockjumper is normally seen singly or in pairs!