Boulder Chat

Information about the Bird Boulder Chat

The boulder chat (Pinarornis plumosus) is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae native to dry woodland and savanna in Southern Africa. It is monotypic within the genus Pinarornis.

The boulder chat is a large chat, 25cm (9.8in) in length, with brownish-black plumage and white tips to the outer tail feathers. In flight, a row of small white spots can be seen on the edge of the primary and secondary coverts. Females are similar to males but have a slightly duller plumage.
The species is native to Southern Africa, including Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. There are distinct populations in the far west of Botswana and southern Zimbabwe; north eastern Zimbabwe, extending into western Mozambique; and a third population in eastern Zambia extending up the Luangwa valley into Malawi. The boulder chat inhabits well-wooded savanna terrain with large granite boulders or scree, usually in woodland areas, especially miombo. This species belongs to a monotypic genus which has no near relatives and it is considered that it evolved on the southern African granite shield, which formation's extent is almost identical to the distribution of the boulder chat.
The species is most often seen around large boulders, running and bounding on the ground. It often cocks its tail over its back. Eggs are laid in September to January, with a peak in October and November. After breeding the family remains together as a party until the next breeding season.
The IUCN currently classifies the boulder chat as Least Concern. The species may however be under some pressure from habitat loss due to the invasive weed Lantana camara.

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