Birda Logo
Species Guide

Karoo Chat

Emarginata schlegelii

The Karoo chat, Emarginata schlegelii, is a modestly sized member of the Old World flycatcher family, Muscicapidae. It is characterized by a grey upper body with a distinctive rufous patch located just behind the eye. The tail is a stark black with contrasting white outer feathers, while the underparts are a clean white. Both sexes share a similar appearance, but the juvenile can be distinguished by its buff spotting and scaly underparts.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Karoo chat, look for its 16-18 cm length and a weight of approximately 32 grams. The bird's short, straight bill, legs, and feet are black, and the eye is dark. The grey rump and completely white outer tail feathers are key features that differentiate it from similar species.


This species is found in the Karoo and desert scrublands of southwestern Angola, western Namibia, and western South Africa. Its range extends north to the escarpment zone.


The Karoo chat is a common resident breeder in its range, which includes southwestern Angola, western Namibia, and western South Africa.


The Karoo chat exhibits monogamous behavior, often mating for life. It is typically observed alone or in pairs, foraging on the ground for insects. The bird constructs a cup-shaped nest on the ground, usually under the protection of a bush or shrub, where it lays two to four green eggs.

Song & Calls

The vocalizations of the Karoo chat include a "chak-chak" and a "trrat-trrat" call, which can be heard across its habitat.

Similar Species

This bird can be confused with the grey form of the female mountain wheatear, but the Karoo chat has a grey rump and white outer tail feathers. It is larger than the tractrac or sickle-winged chats, which also have different tail feather patterns.

Diet and Feeding

The Karoo chat's diet consists of insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts, and ants. It captures its prey in short flights from the ground.

Conservation status

The Karoo chat is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. It has a large range estimated at 1,100,000 km² and a population size believed to be large, with no significant decline observed or expected in the near future.

Karoo Chat Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Karoo Chats on Birda


More Chats, Old World Flycatchers

A photo of a White-gorgeted Flycatcher (Anthipes monileger)

White-gorgeted Flycatcher

Anthipes monileger
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Love Birda
I love this app. It really encourages you to log your sightings and the community is friendly and helpful.
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Ideal Birdwatch Companion
Simply adds to the enjoyment of my birdwatching and helps me record what I’ve seen.
Just what birding needs
We need more fun in birding, for years it has had a reputation for being up tight and stuffy and only perused by retirees and anoraks. Birda helps change that perception and firmly brings birding into the 21st century! Fun, interactive while still contributing to science and conservation. If you aren’t on it, why not??
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.