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White-browed Scrub Robin - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Red-backed Scrub-Robin)
Subspecies leucophrys
Photo by rudydbn, Durban, South Africa, June 2004

Alternative name: Red-backed Scrub-Robin

Cercotrichas leucophrys


Subspecies leucoptera
Photo by volker sthamer
Yabello, Ethiopia, November 2012

14–16 cm (5½-6¼ in)

Adult: Upper parts are light brown with faint streaking; the rump is orange-rufous and the blackish tail has a white tip; under parts are white with black streaks on the breast and flanks; there are also with dark malar streaks. Eyes brown and bill blackish brown with a yellowish pink base.

Immature: Has buff and dark brown spots on both upper- and under-parts.

Similar species

Kalahari Scrub-Robin has an orange tail with a black subterminal band (also tipped white) and is unstreaked below.


Western Africa: found in Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zaire
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, eSwatini



There are 9 subspecies[1]:

  • C. l. leucoptera: south-eastern South Sudan, central and southern Ethiopia, north-western Somalia, and northern Kenya
  • C. l. eluta: Somalia (Juba River area) and adjacent north-eastern Kenya
  • C. l. vulpina: South-central Kenya to extreme north-eastern Tanzania
  • C. l. zambesiana: extreme southern South Sudan and northern and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo to western Kenya, south to Malawi, northern Mozambique, and eastern Zimbabwe
  • C. l. brunneiceps: Central Kenya to north-eastern Tanzania (west of Kilimanjaro to Loliondo)
  • C. l. sclateri: Central Tanzania
  • C. l. munda: Congo River to central Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Katanga)
  • C. l. ovamboensis: South Angola to south-western Zambia, northern Botswana, northern Namibia, western Zimbabwe
  • C. l. leucophrys: southern Zimbabwe and eastern South Africa, south along the coast to Eastern Cape


They are to be found in a wide variety of bush and wooded habitats, including open arid thorn scrub.



Their diet consists mostly of invertebrates, including insects, particularly termites.9


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Nov 2017)
  4. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1