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the web of life in southern Africa

Namibornis herero (Herero chat) 

Hererospekvreter [Afrikaans]; Herero-tapuit [Dutch]; Namiorne héréro [French]; Namibschnäpper [German]; Chasco de Herero [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Muscicapidae

Namibornis herero (Herero chat)  Namibornis herero (Herero chat) 
Herero chat. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©] Herero chat. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©]
Namibornis herero (Herero chat) 

Herero chat. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©]

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa occurring from the extreme south-west of Angola through to the western half of Namibia. Here it is locally common on inselbergs and escarpments with scattered Acacia, bush-cherry (Maerua), corkwood (Commiphora) and cluster-leaf (Terminalia) trees, especially along drainage lines.

Distribution of Herero chat in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).


It mainly eats insects (especially ants and termites), doing some of its foraging from a perch in the shade, pouncing on prey on the ground and occasionally in the air. It also searches for food on the ground, inspecting the bases of bushes and shrubs and digging for small insects. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is built by both sexes in about 3-4 days, at first stuffing grassy material into a crack or cavity in a tree, or between the branches of a fork. Rootlets, thin bark strips and plant fibres are then incorporated in the structure, and both birds mould it with their bodies to form an open cup. It is typically placed at the base of a tree's canopy, especially if it is positioned by itself near a rocky outcrop, at the bottom of a slope or near drainage lines.
  • Egg-laying season is from February-March, often coinciding with rain.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated mainly by the female for about 16 days, all the while eating a lot of Rock corkwood berries (Commiphora saxicola)
  • The chicks are fed by both parents, leaving the nest after about 12-16 days, after which they follow they parents when they go and forage. They usually become fully independent around 3-5 months after fledging.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.