Cercomela sinuata (Sickle-winged chat)
Vlaktespekvreter [Afrikaans]; Vlakte-spekvreter [Dutch]; Traquet
aile-en-faux [French]; Oranjeschmätzer [German]; Chasco-asa-de-foice
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Deuterostomia > Chordata >
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vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial
vertebrates) > Tetrapoda
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria >
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Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves
Order: Passeriformes > Family: Muscicapidae
> Genus: Cercomela
Distribution and habitat
Endemic to southern Africa, occurring from southern Namibia
to the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape, extending into the Free State and
Lesotho. It generally prefers Karoo shrubland, fynbos, montane grasslands,
slopes with scattered bushes, Renosterbos (Dicerothamnus rhinocerotis)
shrubland, fallow fields and well-grazed pastures.
Distribution of Sickle-winged chat in southern Africa,
based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas
Animal Demography unit, University of
Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range
from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).
See here for the latest distribution
from the SABAP2.
It mainly eats invertebrates, doing most of its foraging
from a low perch, pouncing on prey on the ground. The following food items have been recorded
in its diet:
- The nest (see image below) is a cup built of twigs and coarse grass and
lined with soft, dry grass, fluffy seeds and other fine plant material. It
is typically placed in soil at the base of a shrub, grass tuft or stone, or
occasionally in a hole in a wall.
- Egg-laying season is from August-March, peaking from October-January in
most areas, but earlier in the Western Cape.
- It lays 2-4 pale greenish blue eggs, lightly speckled with reddish
Not threatened, although overgrazing by sheep may cause for
concern, however it is locally common in heavily farmed areas in the
south-western Western Cape.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts
- Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker
Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.