The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Ant-eating Chat

Afrikaans name: Swartpiek

Ant-eating Chat

Photo © Steven Herbert

Myrmecocichla formicivora

The Ant-eating Chat is widely distributed across South Africa. It is found in suitable habitat in most areas apart from the southern and eastern coastal regions. Males are darker in colour compared to the females.

It is normally seen in grassland areas ranging from savanna to hilly slopes.

The Ant-eating Chat spends a lot of its time foraging on the ground. As its name suggests it is particularly fond of ants and termites but it also eats millipedes, grasshoppers and other insects.

They have an interesting breeding set up. The breeding pair are sometimes assisted by their young from the previous year. They dig a burrow and place the nest inside the burrow. Normally the female lays 3 eggs and she tends to the eggs. Both adults feed the chicks.

References and further reading

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

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 160

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 239

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 324

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 91

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 516

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 310

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 521

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 405

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 393

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southe - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Published: 1991 - Page: 412

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 322

LBJs - Author: Newman, Johnson, Solomon, Masterson - Published: 1998 - Page: 63

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 322

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 35

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 230

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 59

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 192

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 92

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 69

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 170

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 207

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 69

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 229


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List of South African Birds

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