Familiar Chat

Familiar Chat, (Cercomela familiaris)

One of the many LBJ’s of Africa.. (LBJ you ask? Little Brown Jobs).. This bird falls into one of the old orders of fly catchers..

It builds a cup-shaped nest of hair, wool, feathers or soft plant material on a base of coarse vegetation. Constructed in a hole in the ground, a rock face or building.  It normally nests from July to April, but will breed at any time when conditions are right, especially in the more arid areas.

The Familiar Chat is typically seen sitting on a rock, or hopping on bare patches of soil, or around the swimming pool in your yard. It has a habit of flicking its wings once or twice every time it moves. It is a fairly tame and approachable little bird. It eats insects, fruit, animal fat and household or farmyard scraps.

The Afrikaans name "spekvreter" means "fat-eater", and comes from the fact that it developed the habit of feeding on the lard used to grease wagon axles by the voortrekkers, I have put down a lump of butter to get them to come a little closer for its photo shoot….

Len 10-10-2012 061

Len 10-10-2012 056

Len 10-10-2012 036

Len 10-10-2012 030

Len 10-10-2012 018

Len 10-10-2012 022

Len 10-10-2012 055


42 thoughts on “Familiar Chat

  1. He was a very durable fashion model … and vanity too. Very vary about where you was. Cheeky little thing.
    Excellent photos again. Wish you and Linda, a great weekend.

  2. Such a cute little bugger! Your caption on the last pic is SO priceless.
    As an aside, when Americans over a certain age 😉 see the letters LBJ our first thought is of our late President (from the Vietnam War era) who had an extraordinarily large nose!!!! I daresay your bird and his nose might even measure the same length! Lol sorry to be irreverent but it struck me funny!!!

  3. Oh wow! And then you say you think your photo’s are not as good as the other photographers’? Good grief bulldog! I wish I could take photo’s like this! It’s gorgeous and you captured this little LBJ perfectly! Thanks for sharing. 🙂 *hugs*

    • Thank you Sonel.. such high praise.. beware I’ll get a big head just now… been over to the one site and signed up… will see what becomes of it.. thank you…

      • Oh, I am sure your photo’s will end up in the Editor’s Choice section for sure bullog. Please send me the link so I can follow you when you’re finished. I would love that. 🙂

    • Thanks Ruth.. I often neglect these little fellows as the seldom sit still long enough to capture well… but he is kinda cute even though there are no outstanding colours etc… I managed to entice this one in with a bit of butter.. and realised that taking photos of him was actually quite fun… many photos came out without a bird in the picture as just as you press the button he moves sufficiently to disappear out of shot…

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