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Chorister Robin-Chat - BirdForum Opus

Photo by John Dempsey
South Africa, August
Cossypha dichroa


Length 19-20 cm, mass 38-44 g
Adult: The Chorister Robin Chat has slate-grey upperparts and orange underparts; the tail is orange with a black centre. The White-browed Robin Chat is similar, but the Chorister Robin Chat has no white eyebrow, its black hood and mask being diagnostic.
Immature: Spotted buff above and scaled buff below.


Eastern South Africa and eSwatini. Locally common. Some seasonal movement, especially by those that breed at higher altitudes.



There are two subspecies[1]:

  • C. d. dichroa:
  • C. d. mimica:
  • North-eastern Transvaal (Zoutpansberg and Woodbush)


Forest; particularly mistbelt forest.


Usually solitary. Inconspicuous if not calling, but can be confiding.


Forages in the canopy and on the ground for insects, other invertebrates and fruit.


Breeds October to January. The nest is a shallow cup of plant material in a cavity, usually in a tree trunk. There are usually three eggs; the nestling is fed by both parents. Sometimes parasitised by the Red-chested Cuckoo.


The song is rich and melodious with trills, whistles and imitations of other birds' calls. Responds to human whistles and spishing.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.

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