Oenanthe bifasciata (Buff-streaked chat) 

Bergklipwagter [Afrikaans]; Inkotyeni, Isixaxabesha (these terms also applied to Capped wheatear) [Xhosa]; iNkolotsheni [Zulu]; Tantabe [North Sotho]; Streeptapuit [Dutch]; Tarier bifasciť [French]; Fahlschulterschmštzer [German]; Chasco-estriado [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Muscicapidae > Genus: Oenanthe

Oenanthe bifasciata (Buff-streaked chat)  Oenanthe bifasciata (Buff-streaked chat) 

Buff-streaked chat male, with caught insect in its bill. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©]

Buff-streaked chat female, with caught insect in its bill. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©]

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to of South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, occurring along much of the Drakensberg escarpment and surrounding foothills. It generally prefers grassland on boulder-strewn slopes or rocky outcrops, with scattered bushes and trees. It may also occur around farmhouses and at the edges of human settlements, where it often becomes tame.

Distribution of Buff-streaked chat in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© 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 arthropods, doing most of its foraging from a perch on a boulder (see images above), from which it pounces on prey on the ground and in the air. It also forages on the ground, and it may even glean food from the leaves and branches of trees. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is mainly built by the female and is a cup set into a large, untidy platform of grass and roots, lined with rootlets, hair and fine grass.
  • Egg-laying season is from September-February, peaking from October-November.
  • It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female in shifts of about half an hour, with roughly 15 minute breaks between them.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents on a diet of grasshoppers, caterpillars and other insects.


Not threatened.


  • 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. 



 Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Birds home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search