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Sooty Chat - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Dave Clark
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, August 2018
Myrmecocichla nigra


Photo © by nkgray
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, October 2012

16–18 cm (6¼-7 in)
A stocky, short-tailed dark chat of the Mara/Serengeti grassland where it replaces the similar and more widespread Northern Anteater Chat.
The male is glossy black with a white patch at the bend of the wing (sometimes concealed on perched birds).
The female and juvenile are sooty-brown.


Africa: In a square with Nigeria, Sudan, Zambia, and Angola at the corners.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Areas of short grass with termite mounds; sometimes with scattered bushes. Commonly seen along roadsides.



Their main diet consists of seeds and berries, with the addition of some insects such as caterpillars, termites, ants and grasshoppers. The feed on the ground.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Sept 2018)

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