Nicatoridae – Nicators

Eastern Nicator Nicator gularis ©Hugh Chittenden Website

Nicator is a genus of passerine endemic to Africa. The name of the genus is derived from nikator, Greek for conqueror. Within the genus, the western and eastern nicators are considered to form a superspecies and are sometimes treated as the same species.

The nicators are shrike-like birds, 16 to 23 cm in length. The Eastern and Western Nicators are similar in size and larger than the Yellow-throated Nicator. The males are considerably heavier than the females, for example in the Western Nicator the males range from 48g to 67g, whereas the females only weigh 32g to 51g. The Yellow-throated Nicator is much lighter, ranging only 21g to 26g. The nicators have heavy hooked bills. The plumage of the genus is overall olive on the backs, tail and wings, with yellow spotting on the wings, and lighter grey or whitish undersides.

They are endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa. TheWestern Nicator has a mostly continuous distribution from Senegal to eastern Uganda and northern Angola. The Eastern Nicator has a discontinuous distribution in East Africa from Somalia south to eastern South Africa. The Yellow-throated Nicator is distributed in central Africa from Cameroon to Uganda.

They occupy a wide range of forest and woodland habitats.

The genus contains just three medium sized species:

Western (Yellow-spotted) Nicator Nicator chloris
Eastern (White-throated) Nicator Nicator gularis
Yellow-throated Nicator Nicator vireo

Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 3

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