The Eastern Nicator has a patchy distribution along the Indian Ocean coast and adjacent interior from Kenya southwards to South Africa (where they can be found in parts of Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Kwazulu-Natal), inhabiting forests and woodlands with dense undergrowth. It is listed as being of least concern by the IUCN. Adults measure about 23cm in length and weigh around 47g.
Eastern Nicators feed primarily on insects, though they have been recorded preying on small reptiles and plucking ticks and other ectoparasites from the hides of large mammalian herbivores, often following them around to catch invertebrates disturbed under hoof. Their nests are untidy platforms built of sticks and stalks, placed surprisingly near to the ground in dense vegetation. Pairs are monogamous and nest in summer.
Eastern Nicators are usually very shy and seldomly seen, often only giving away their presence by their characteristic call. We were therefore thrilled to be able to see and photograph it in Ntshondwe Camp during our recent visit to Ithala Game Reserve.