- Emarginata tractrac
14-15 cm. White tail with a dark inverted “T” at the tip, black short straight bill, black legs and feet, dark eye.
The Namib form found on hummock dunes and at the coast has almost white plumage with grey wings and grey tail marking. The south-eastern form, found in gravel plains has brown upperparts with blackish flight feathers and tail markings. Its underparts are white. The sexes are similar, but the juvenile is more mottled than the adult.
There are five subspecies:
- E. t. hoeschi
- Coastal deserts of south-western Angola and north-western Namibia
- E. t. albicans
- Coastal northern Namibia (western Damaraland and northern Great Namaqualand)
- E. t. barlowi
- Namibia (central and southern Great Namaqualand)
- E. t. nebulosa
- Coastal sand dunes of south-western Namibia and western South Africa
- E. t. tractrac
- South Africa (Karoo to Aliwal)
Desert scrub, hummock dunes and gravel plains.
It builds a cup-shaped nest of straw and leaves on the ground, usually under a bush or shrub. 2-3 red eggs are laid. This species is monogamous, mating for life.
The diet includes butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. Prey is typically taken in a short flight.
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2011. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.10). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Tractrac Chat. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 14 April 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Tractrac_Chat
Distribution map for Southern Africa