Behavior

Chats typically occur in small, loose flocks, but pair up during the breeding season. They may defend breeding territories, though a detailed study of the white-fronted chat suggested that males defend the nest and their mate rather than a territory. They display in flight and from perches, where they dip their tails and raise the colorful feathers on their heads or back ends. Calls are mostly simple and metallic, with pretty twittering or piping songs, and, when threatened, harsh churring calls. Crimson and orange chats are highly mobile, displaying a north-south seasonal migration, as well as nomadic movements in response to local rainfall. Chats seem unable to drink saline water. During dry times, they may reach the coast. The other species may be more sedentary, but they also show poorly understood movements in response to local conditions.

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