Tag Archives: Mocking Cliff Chat

Mocking Cliff Chat

Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris

Mocking Cliff Chats inhabits well-wooded rocky outcrops, bouldered mountainsides, cliffs, ravines and rocky river valleys. It would appear that they move away from high-lying areas during the harshest part of winter. It feeds mainly on insects, but does include fruit and nectar in its diet. Adults grow to 22cm in length, weighing between 46-53g, and can become quite tame and confiding around humans.

Mocking Cliff Chats often take over the nests of swallows, though they will build their own nests of twigs, other plant material and fur in rocky hollows. They breed during spring and summer. Clutches contain 2-4 eggs and are incubated by the female for about 2 weeks. Both parents care for the chicks, which fledge at 3 weeks of age. They are usually encountered in pairs or small family groups numbering up to 6.

The Mocking Cliff Chat occurs patchily over a large area of Sub-Saharan Africa, wherever suitably rocky habitat is found, with the exception of the dense equatorial forests. in South Africa it can be found from  the Eastern Cape northwards, through Kwazulu-Natal and the Free State to Limpopo Province. The IUCN considers it to be of least concern.