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Sharpe's Akalat - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Sharpe's Robin

Sheppardia sharpei



  • Brownish-olive upperparts
  • Short creamy supercilium
  • Dull brown wings and tail
  • Orange-buff chin to breast, breast with strong olive wash
  • White mid-belly, yellowish-buff vent
  • Black bill
  • usambarae with weaker and greyer supercilium and more buffish-orange below


Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia.
A frequent to locally common restricted-range species.


Two subspecies recognized:

  • S. s. usambarae in the Usambara Mountains and Nguru Mountains of Tanzania
  • S. s. sharpei in the montane forests of southwest Tanzania to Zambia and northern Malawi


Intact moist montanes. Often in dense understorey thickets of shrubs and creepers near running water.
Occurs from 600 to 2600m.



Feeds on invertebrates.
Forages on ground, often turning leaf litter or dropping from a low perch.
Attends driver-ant swarms and is sometimes seen in foraging flocks.


Breeding season October to December in Malawi, September to November in southern Tanzania, also in other months in rest of the country. The nest is an open deep cup made of dead lives. It's placed 1 to 1.3 m above the ground in coppice growth of lopped stump or coppice shoots from roots of Parinari or Ocotea trees. Lays 2 eggs.
Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo recorded as brood parasite.


Some altitudinal movements in dry season noted.


  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. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 10: Cuckoo-Shrikes to Thrushes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334726

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