Myrmecocichla formicivora (Endemic)
Southern ant-eating chats have not made the front cover of magazines for their vibrant plumage and bright colours. In fact, when you see these “mud-coloured” birds for the first time, you may well classify them in the “mbj” group (i.e. medium brown jobs), and who could blame you.
In my opinion, however, this all changes when you see them take flight and hover in the air. Their mud colour changes to a flurry of bright white and brown, and you suddenly get a feel for the character and excitement these birds can bring to their otherwise dull, grassland habitats.
This all-brown chat is relatively easy to find in its open, flat habitat. We first recorded it in March 2010 while visiting Wakkerstroom (in Mpumulanga) for the first time. Other great spots to see and photograph this species include Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve and Ezemvelo Nature Reserve.