The mocking cliff chat, mocking chat or cliff chat, (Thamnolaea cinnamomeiventris) is a species of chat in the family Muscicapidae which occurs in rocky habitats in much of eastern Sub-Saharan Africa. The mocking cliff chat is a large chat with distinctive colouration. The male has a glossy black with a chestnut belly, vent, and rump and white shoulder patches. The shoulder patches vary in size geographically. The female is dark grey with a chestnut lower breast, belly, and vent. The mocking cliff chat inhabits rocky and boulder strewn areas, well-wooded rocky ravines, cliffs, gullies, boulder-strewn hillsides and watercourses in valley bottoms with scattered rocks.
The mocking cliff chat is mainly insectivorous but also eats fruit and feeds on the nectar of aloes, such as the Krantz aloe Aloe arborescens. It chief foraging technique is to pounce on food on the ground from a perch bit it will also glean food from branches and foliage. The habitually wag their tails, slowly raising over their backs and fanning it out.
Both sexes build the nest, taking about a week to construct an open cup built over a foundation of twigs, leaves, roots and feathers and lined with the hair of mammals. They often use the nests of striped swallows frequently evicting the swallows while they are still using the nest. The nest is usually positioned below a rock overhang, bridge, culvert or in a cave and it may sometimes be placed in a hole in a wall or in a cavity in agricultural machinery. In southern Africa the eggs are laid from August–December, with a peak during September–November.
This bird has a distinctive habit of slowly lifting its tail. It is often detected by its loud, complex, melodic song, sometimes given in duet, and often including imitations of other species.
Sources : Wikipedia / ebird.com