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Brown Scrub Robin - BirdForum Opus

Cercotrichas signata
Photo by megan perkins
St. Lucia, South Africa, January 2007


Length 18-19 cm, mass 32-35 g
Adult: The upperparts are predominantly brown. The eyebrow is white and there a white spot below the eye. There are conspicuous black and white markings on the wing and the tail is black with a white tip. The underparts are white; greyish on the flanks.
Immature: Brown, with spotted buff upperparts and underparts scaled blackish.


Photo by Alan Manson
Cape Vidal, iSimangaliso Wetland Reserve, South Africa, February 2008

Coastal forests of south-eastern South Africa, southern Mozambique, and inland to north-eastern South Africa and eSwatini.



There are two subspecies:

  • C. s. tongensis: paler than the nominate race, buffy on the flanks, and has a shorter bill
  • C. s. signata:
  • South Africa (Transvaal and southern Natal to south-eastern Cape Province)


Forests and coastal dunes.


Usually solitary, this species forages on the forest floor for invertebrates, often flicking leaves aside with its bill. It often watches foraging mole-rats, picking off disturbed insects.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533

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