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Lowland Akalat - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Lowland Robin

Sheppardia cyornithopsis


13 cm.

  • Olive-brown upperparts, ear-coverts and crown
  • Dull brown wings
  • Dull chestnut uppertail-coverts and tail fringes, rest of tail dull brown
  • Orange-tinged buff chin and throat
  • Olive-brown breast side
  • Rufous-orange breast to flanks, grading to pure white on belly
  • houghtoni is less brown above
  • lopezi has olive-brown flanks and sometimes a brown band separating the breast from the belly

Sexes similar. Juveniles are like adults but they have spotted rufous-buff breast and wing-coverts and a buff belly with dusky scaling.


Three disjunct populations in Western and Central Africa.
Common to locally abundant, rare in Western African range.


Three subspecies recognized:


Understorey of moist lowland forest, including secondary forest. Sometimes in undergrowth of plantations.
Occurs up to 900 m, up t0 1300 m in West Africa, occasionally even higher.



Feeds on invertebrates (beetles, ants, caterpillars, termites, spiders, small orthopterans and small millipedes).
Forages in the undergrowth. Sometimes on low perches next to roads. Also attends army-ant swarms and is occasionally seen in mixed-species flocks.


Breeding recorded at different times of year throughout range. One nest described which was purse-shaped with a side entrance and made of moss, twigs and black fibres. It was placed 0.5 m above the ground in dense undergrowth. However the record seems questionable as this is different from nest of closest congeners. No other information.


A sedentary species.


  1. 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/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrived April 2014)

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