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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cape Robin-chat

Afrikaans name: Gewone Janfrederik

Cape Robin-chat

Cape Robin-chat

Photo © Steven Herbert

Cossypha caffra

The Cape Robin-chat, previously known as the Cape Robin, is a common and familiar bird over much of South Africa. It is found in most areas apart from the extremely arid regions and the far northern border of the country.

These robins are quite at home in any area that has sufficient cover interspersed with open areas. They can be seen hopping along the ground looking for food but quickly flit back into cover when disturbed.

They take a wide range of prey items ranging from small lizards and frogs to insects. They do also eat fruit on occasion.

Cape Robin-chats are normally seen singly but there is normally a number of them around in suitable habitat.

Although they may nest in winter in some areas they more commonly nest in spring. The female makes a cup-shaped nest low down in vegetation or sometimes in a man-made structure. She lays between 1 and 4 eggs and incubates them herself. The male does assist with feeding the chicks.

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References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 63

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 80

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 172

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 60

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 160

Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind - Author: B. Hilton-Barber & Prof. L. R. Berger - Year Published: 2004 - Page: 185

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 65

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 324

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of Southern Africa - 2nd edi - Author: Editor - Alan Duggan - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 412

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 526

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 522

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 332

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 158

List of South African Birds

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