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Violet-backed Hyliota - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Violet-backed Flycatcher

Hyliota violacea


13cm. A stocky Hyliota with a strong bill, no white wingbar and a shortish tail.

  • Glossy violet-black top and side of head and upperparts
  • Glossy black tail and flight-feathers, glossy violet-black upperwing coverts
  • Variably white inner greater coverts (all glossy black in nehrkorni)
  • White chin, throat and underparts with creamy-buff wash
  • Black thighs

Females are similar but have tawny-orange underparts and rarely any white in greater coverts.
Juveniles have dull sooty brown upperparts, wings and tail and duller and browner underparts than females.


Western and Central Africa.
Patchily distributed, rare to common in its range.


Two subspecies recognized:


Forests, old plantations, woodland and clearings.
Occurs mainly in lowlands but up to 2000m in Rwanda and 1100m in eastern DRC.



Feeds mainly on insects.
Forages in pairs or groups, also in mixed-species flocks. Looks for food in canopy and middle storey, often in flowering and fruiting trees.


A monogamous species. Immatures seen in Liberia in July. No other information.


This is 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. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2006. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553064

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