Alternative name: Layard's Tit-babbler
- Sylvia layardi
Length 14-16 cm, mass 15 g. Adult male: The upper parts are grey and the tail black with a white tip and white edges. The white throat has black streaks, the lower breast and belly are pale grey, and the flanks darker grey. The vent is white. The eyes are white and the bill and legs are black. Adult female: Browner than the male and less markedly streaked on the throat, but it is difficult to distinguish the sexes in the field.
The Rufous-vented Warbler is similar but has a chestnut vent.
S. layardi has four subspecies: The nominate race from the South African west coast (described under 'Identification'); S. l. barnsi from Lesotho and adjascent parts of South Africa, darker than the nominate race above and paler below; S. l. aridicola from Namibia and adjascent parts of South Africa, upper parts paler than S. l. barnesi and there is no white on the wings and face; S. l. subsolana from central South Africa, upper parts darker than S. l. aridicola and paler than S. l. barnesi. Compared to the nominate race, S. l. subsolana is darker below, and the breast is more buffy.
Shrublands and fynbos.
Generally resident, with seasonal altitudinal movement by populations in cooler areas. Usually forages alone or in pairs for invertebrates and fruits, low in shrubs. Inquisitive; responds to spishing.
Breeding: Monogamous and teritorial. The nest is a cup constructed from grass, plant fibres and spiders web. Usually 2 eggs are laid between July and December.
- Gill, F, M Wright and D Donsker. 2009. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.0). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
- 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
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Layard's Warbler. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 24 January 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Layard%27s_Warbler