Ant-Eating Chat.. a first for my birding list.

Ant-Eating Chat (Myrmecocichla formicivora)

The ant-eating chat, is also known as the southern ant-eater chat, well whatever it is a new one for me. With the help of birders on the internet I got the correct ID. The light was not the best for photography yesterday, but when a bird that you do not know seems to want to be photographed, who cares about the light.

The ant-eating chat is an insectivore and is especially fond of eating ants and termites. It changes its hunting style seasonally. In winter it can be found foraging on the ground for insects and in summer it pounces on its prey from a low perch. Other than ants and termites, its diet includes grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars and millipedes. It is also known to eat fruit on occasion. Hummm… maybe a subject for my fruit salad tree…!!

The ant-eating chat builds its nest by burrowing a chamber into a sand quarry or sand wall. The chamber is typically 30-150cm long and the excavating is done by the parents over a period of 8-10 days. Egg-laying season is august to march, and the chat lays between two and seven eggs that are incubated by the female for 14-16 days. Chicks are fed by both parents and are sometimes helped by the juveniles from the previous clutch. (info with thanks from the site) Here are my photos… it is a female bird, as the male has a small white spot on the top of the folded wing…..






The internet is wonderful for getting aid in identifying a specie… there are so many enthusiast that have sharing sites on the internet, that an incorrect ID is almost impossible. If this was pre Internet, I probably would have taken days to ID the bird, now it takes no longer than minutes when one uses the sites…

44 thoughts on “Ant-Eating Chat.. a first for my birding list.

  1. You’re Ant-Eating Chat certainly could have helped on the settee the other night. I think you’re blogger friends would’ve had a good laugh at you the way you where jumping around and scratching. Ha!Ha!He!He!

  2. This little birdie looks like he’s got attitude. Could it possibly be because a Bulldog was following him around? 😉 BTW, less than perfect lighting doesn’t seem to result in anything but quality images coming from you.

  3. I totally agree bulldog. It’s truly amazing how much info we can find on the internet and it’s more fun learning it here on your blog. I love learning about these beautiful birds you always take such great shots of. Thanks for sharing. 😀 *hugs*

  4. I had to chuckle at myself when I saw the bird. I was expecting photos of you and Linda at a picnic and the ants coming out while you have a chat. Then I realize the “ant-eating chat” is a bird. Interesting beak on this bird. I think we need a few of those birds here in the summertime to keep the ants under control.

  5. So true, and exciting to be able to spot a “new” species and have it identified within minutes ;). These shots are lovely, Bulldog. I love the colours around your ant-eating chat 😀

  6. Super informative post bulldog. The internet has made this a small world which is great for things like bird identification. I don’t recall ever having seen this particular bird. It’s very early in the morning here. Sleep is sometimes.elusive as it is tonight. Thought I’d spend some time browsing . Have a lovely day bullying

    • The way this bird posed I’m surprised I’ve never seen her before…
      Wondered how you got to see this so early… now I know..can’t sleep, happens to all of us at some stage of our lives…

  7. quite elegant isn’t it. Definitely didn’t mind you taking it’s photograph! and yes, agreed – thank goodness for the internet gives us all sorts of information….. remind me of that when I am next cursing it!

    • Don’t worry I think we all curse it everyday when it does not perform to our wishes… specially when in a hurry, it will go slow…
      Thank you, not the most astounding bird I’ve captured but it does go down on the list as a first time capture…

All comments are welcome... please...Write something.. go on, let your voice be heard...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s