Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Herero Chat (Melaenornis herero)


French: Gobemouche héréro German: Hereroschnäpper Spanish: Papamoscas herero
Other common names: Herero Chat-flycatcher

Bradornis herero

Meyer de Schauensee

, 1931,

Karibib, Damaraland, Namibia


Taxonomic position long uncertain: resembles Bradornis in features such as nest structure, nest-site, eggs, and nestlings’ begging call, yet recalls some Oenanthe in voice, habits, and appearance of fledglings; often separated in monospecific Namibornis. Monotypic.


Extreme SW Angola (Iona National Park, and near Ruacana, on R Cunene) S along escarpment and adjacent plains to C Namibia (S to Mt Tsaris, near Sesriem).

Descriptive notes

17 cm; 23–30·7 g. Has crown and upperparts dark brown, crown and mantle feathers with dark central stripes (giving indistinctly dark-streaked appearance); lores... read more


Generally quiet outside breeding season. Has diverse far-carrying, low, melodious song like that of... read more


Sparsely vegetated rocky hills, mountains, inselbergs and escarpment areas with acacia (Acacia... read more

Food and feeding

Eats mainly ants (Hymenoptera) and termites (Isoptera), the latter comprising 63% of diet in breeding season; also takes small grasshoppers... read more


Laying recorded in Feb–Apr, timing linked to rains; single-brooded, but double-brooded in good seasons, possibly triple-brooded when... read more


At Spitzkoppe, in Namibia, breeding adults appear to be sedentary. Elsewhere, possible partial... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Amber-listed in Namibia because of its restricted range and near-endemic status. Locally common. Although it has a very restricted range (estimated... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). Herero Chat (Melaenornis herero). 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).