Ant-eating Chat | Myrmecocichla formicivora
The Ant-eating 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 Ant-eating Chat (Latin name Myrmecocichla formicivora) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Myrmecocichla formicivora can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 595 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 956. You will find a picture of the Ant-eating 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 Ant-eating Chat between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Ant-eating Chat is known in Afrikaans as Swartpiek.
The Ant-eating Chat 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 Ant-eating Chat has a height of 18 cms and weighs around 50 gms. The head is coloured black, brown while the bill is coloured black. The Myrmecocichla formicivora has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black, brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.
The male Myrmecocichla formicivora 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, brown
Eyes are brown
Bill is black
Legs are black
Throat is black
Back is black, brown
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 .
The Myrmecocichla formicivora forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
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 Ant-eating Chat is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
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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