The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Robin-chat

Afrikaans name: Gewone Janfrederik

Cape Robin-chat

Cape Robin-chat

Photo © Steven Herbert

Cossypha caffra

The Cape Robin-chat, previously known as the Cape Robin, is a common and familiar bird over much of South Africa. It is found in most areas apart from the extremely arid regions and the far northern border of the country.

These robins are quite at home in any area that has sufficient cover interspersed with open areas. They can be seen hopping along the ground looking for food but quickly flit back into cover when disturbed.

They take a wide range of prey items ranging from small lizards and frogs to insects. They do also eat fruit on occasion.

Cape Robin-chats are normally seen singly but there is normally a number of them around in suitable habitat.

Although they may nest in winter in some areas they more commonly nest in spring. The female makes a cup-shaped nest low down in vegetation or sometimes in a man-made structure. She lays between 1 and 4 eggs and incubates them herself. The male does assist with feeding the chicks.

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 158

Wildlife of the Cape Peninsula - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2001 - Page: 61

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 241

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 57

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 52

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 36

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 184

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 44

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 312

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 332

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 526

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 522

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 409

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 398

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 29

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 309

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 324

Newmans Garden Birds - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1991 - Page: 76

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 85

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 324

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 412

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 232

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 65

Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: P. Ginn & G. McIlleron - Published: 1981 - Page: 23

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Published: 2004 - Page: 185

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 111

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Published: 1992 - Page: 80

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 172

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 94

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 194

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 60

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 21

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 160

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 210

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 168

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 63

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 63

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 232

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