Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Chat-flycatcher (Agricola infuscatus)


French: Gobemouche traquet German: Akazienschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas tarabilla
Other common names: Brown Chat-flycatcher

Saxicola infuscata

A. Smith

, 1839,

near Nuwerus, Western Cape, South Africa


Clinal increase in body size from N to S within range. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. i. benguellensis (Sousa, 1886) – SW Angola (arid coastal plain of Namibe and Benguela) and NW Namibia (Kaokoveld).
  • A. i. infuscatus (A. Smith, 1839) – SW Namibia (Great Namaqualand) and SW South Africa (lower R Orange S to SW Western Cape).
  • A. i. namaquensis (Macdonald, 1957) – Namibia (except NW & SW), extreme W Botswana and adjacent South Africa (NW Northern Cape).
  • A. i. placidus (Clancey, 1958) – Botswana (except extreme W & SW) and NC South Africa (E Northern Cape, North West Province, NW Free State).
  • A. i. seimundi (Ogilvie-Grant, 1913) – SC South Africa (SW Free State S to N Western Cape and NW Eastern Cape).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–21 cm; 37–39 g. Nominate race has head, side of neck, mantle, scapulars and back greyish mid-brown, rump and uppertail-coverts sometimes warmer brown; lores... read more


    Song a quiet, conversational chirruping “chirr chirr cheep cheeerr chip chirrr krrt chirr cheep…”... read more


    Commonest in arid acacia (Acacia) savanna, and shrubland of Karoo and Kalahari; also in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including ants (of family Formicidae) and grasshoppers (Orthoptera); also small reptiles, including blind-snakes (Typhlops... read more


    Occurs almost throughout year, extending from spring through the wet summer (Aug–Apr), with peak in Oct–Jan; possibly breeds... read more


    Apparently entirely sedentary except in S Nama Karoo, where absent for periods of 2–3 years.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally very common; population trends unclear. In Kalahari (Botswana), average density 1 bird/10 ha; in Karroid broken veld, 1 bird/70... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). Chat-flycatcher (Agricola infuscatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).