Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Sickle-winged Chat (Emarginata sinuata)


French: Traquet aile-en-faux German: Sichelschwingenschmätzer Spanish: Colinegro sudafricano
Other common names: Sicklewing Chat

Lusc[inia]. sinuata


, 1858,

Saldanha Bay, Western Cape, South Africa


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. s. ensifera (Clancey, 1958) – S Namibia and W & C South Africa (E to SW Northern Province).
  • E. s. hypernephela (Clancey, 1956) – Lesotho.
  • E. s. sinuata (Sundevall, 1858) – Western Cape and N & W Eastern Cape (South Africa).
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; 17–20 g. Nominate race is grey-tinged brown above, with buff-white eyering and indistinct paler supercilium (invisible in field), darker eyestripe; darker wings... read more


    Relatively silent, but usual call a quiet, rather high “chak-chak”; has warbled song.


    Karoo (especially on escarpments, and E grassy Karoo), drier fynbos, shrubby semi-desert,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and berries. Stomachs of 34 birds from throughout year in Free State (South Africa) held, by number, 50% berries, 24% hymenopterans... read more


    Aug–Mar (peak Oct–Nov in W South Africa) and Nov–Jan in Lesotho and adjacent C South Africa. Nest a bulky cup with base... read more


    Sedentary. Race hypernephela to some degree makes altitudinal migration to lower levels,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common; one of commonest birds of alpine belt above 2900 m in Lesotho. Densities 28 birds/km² in summer and 10 birds/km² in winter in Lesotho... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Sickle-winged Chat (Emarginata sinuata). 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 25 February 2020).