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Karoo Scrub Robin - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Photo by nick scarle
Western Cape, South Africa, August 2016
Cercotrichas coryphoeus

Erythropygia coryphoeus


15–17 cm (6-6¾ in), mass 18-23 g.
A dark greyish-brown scrub-robin with a white-tipped black tail. Striking facial pattern; white partial eyering, eyebrow, moustachial stripe and throat contrast with black-edged brown crown, black eyestripe and grey malar stripe.


Southern, western and central parts of South Africa and southern Namibia.



There are 2 subspecies[1]: Cercotrichas coryphoeus has two subspecies:[1]

  • C. c. coryphoeus
  • C. c. cinerea
  • Southwestern South Africa (Northern Cape south of the Orange Rive south to southwestern Western Cape)


Dry scrub with patches of bare ground.



Forages on the ground for invertebrates, mainly ants, termites and beetles. Also eats small fruit.


Monogamous and territorial; cooperative breeder. The nest is an open cup of twigs, lined with fine plant material and animal fur. Two to four eggs are laid July to December and incubated for about 14 days by the female. Rarely parasitised by Dideric Cuckoo.


  1. 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
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2016)

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