[order] Passeriformes | [family] Muscicapidae | [latin] Saxicola dacotiae | [UK] Canary Islands Chat | [FR] Tarier des Canaries | [DE] Kanarenschmätzer | [ES] Tarabilla Isleña | [IT] Saltimpalo delle Canarie | [NL] Canarisch Paapje

Canarisch Paapje determination

copyright: Stuart Fisher

12 cm. Restricted-range chat. Males have a black head with a short, narrow white supercilium and throat - the latter continues on around the ear-coverts to form a narrow half-collar. Rump dark, remainder of upperparts brown, broadly streaked with black. Orange-buff patch on upper breast, remaining underparts dull white. Female paler, greyer and features more diffused and blurred.

This species is highly faithful to good habitat. Its main occurrence and only breeding habitat is in barrancos, ravines and rocky slopes with fairly sparse (30-50% open ground), shrubby vegetation.Although they sometimes also venture into more open and arid areas such as malpaís (old lava flows with resurgent vegetation), the species prefers copses of palm trees and shrubs.ompletely open habitat appears only to be utilised when gathering food for their young.

The Fuerteventura Chat is an endemic species to the Canaries’ archipelago, where the species’ distribution range is restricted to Fuerteventura Island. It also have occurred on Alegranza and Montaña Clara until the beginning of the 20th Century and there are have been recent records from the neighbouring island of Lanzarote

The Fuerteventura Chat is a largely insectivorous bird that hunts from a post site (bushes or stones) catching the prey both on flight and on the soil. It also takes vegetal matter such as fruits. Nevertheless, data describing the diet of this species are scarce and imprecise. There is a lack of basic information on the type and size of preys that it feeds on regularly, as well as preferred taxons, annual variation in prey consumed (if any), etc.

This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small population, which is probably declining as a consequence of habitat degradation and destruction resulting from development for tourism.
Recent rapid increases in infrastructural development, such as tourist and residential centres, road building, industrial plants, mineral operations and golf courses, are destroying the habitat of this species (particularly on the Jandía peninsula in the south of Fuerteventura) [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Breeding is mainly from January to April, although there are records of nests with eggs and chicks in the middle of December. Average clutch size is 3-4 eggs, with the possibility of two clutches. Nests are often located under rocks and bushes, or also inside holes or fissures in walls.

There are few records of any movements. Despite the presence of the species in the non-breeding season in gardens of tourist areas in Fuerteventura, it seems to be a quite sedentary bird. However, inter-insular movements have been recorded recently as the species has been observed on the nearby island of Lanzarote.