Trac-trac Chat

Scientific Name:
Cercomela tractrac
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Trac-trac Chat

The Tractrac Chat (Cercomela tractrac) is a small bird species belonging to the Old World flycatcher family, Muscicapidae.


Tractrac Chats are typically found in arid and semi-arid habitats, including sandy deserts, dune fields, gravel plains, and rocky areas. They prefer open landscapes with sparse vegetation, where they can forage for insects and other invertebrates. These chats are often seen in regions with low rainfall and limited vegetation cover, including coastal dunes, inland deserts, and sandy riverbeds.


Tractrac Chats are small birds, measuring approximately 14 to 15 centimeters (5.5 to 5.9 inches) in length. They have a compact body, short tail, and relatively long legs adapted for running and hopping on sandy substrates. Their plumage is predominantly sandy brown or grayish-brown, providing camouflage in their desert habitat. They have a distinctive white supercilium (eyebrow) and a pale throat. Best Viewing The best places to view Tractrac Chats are in their native habitats within arid and semi-arid regions. Look for them in sandy areas with scattered vegetation, such as dunes, gravel plains, and rocky outcrops, where they can be seen foraging for insects on the ground. These chats are often observed running and hopping on sandy substrates, using their long legs to navigate through the terrain.