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Mocking Cliff-Chat | Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris

The Mocking Cliff-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 Mocking Cliff-Chat (Latin name Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 593 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 958. You will find a picture of the Mocking Cliff-Chat on page 929.

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.

This bird is known as Mocking Chat in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Mocking Cliff-Chat between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Mocking Cliff-Chat is known in Afrikaans as Dassievo?l.

The Mocking Cliff-Chat has a height of 23 cms and weighs around 48 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris 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

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

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

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

The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Mocking Cliff-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 blue.

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

The Mocking Cliff-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 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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