Tractrac Chat

tractrac-chat

Identification:

14-15 cm. White tail with a dark inverted “T” at the tip, black short straight bill, black legs and feet, dark eye.
The Namib form found on hummock dunes and at the coast has almost white plumage with grey wings and grey tail marking. The south-eastern form, found in gravel plains has brown upperparts with blackish flight feathers and tail markings. Its underparts are white. The sexes are similar, but the juvenile is more mottled than the adult.

Habitat:

Desert scrub, hummock dunes and gravel plains.

Behaviour:

Single or in pairs, perching on stones or low bushes from where it drops to the ground to catch it’s prey.

Diet:

Insectivorous. The diet includes butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. Prey is typically taken in a short flight.

Breeding:

It builds a cup-shaped nest of straw and leaves on the ground, usually under a bush or shrub. 2-3 red eggs are laid. This species is monogamous, mating for life.

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