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Arnot's Chat | Myrmecocichla arnoti

The Arnot's 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 Arnot's Chat (Latin name Myrmecocichla arnoti) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Myrmecocichla arnoti can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 594 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 957. You will find a picture of the Arnot's 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. The Latin name for this bird is Thamnolaea arnoti in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Arnot's Chat is known in Afrikaans as Bontpiek.

The Arnot's Chat has a height of 18 cms and weighs around 33 gms. The head is coloured black, white while the bill is coloured black. The Myrmecocichla arnoti has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Myrmecocichla arnoti 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 black, white

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is black

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

and feeds on the tree trunk

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

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Arnot's 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 4 eggs and they are coloured green.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

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 Arnot's Chat is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

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

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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