• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

White-throated Robin-Chat - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by rudydbn
Mkhuze Game Reserve. Natal, South Africa, 30 September 2004
Cossypha humeralis

Dessonornis humeralis


Length 16-18 cm, mass 20-29 g. Adult: The upperparts are mostly slate-grey, with the rump being orange. The face and neck are black, and the eyebrow is white. The wings are black with a white stripe. The underparts are mainly white with orange-buff on the flanks and undertail. The tail is orange with a black centre and black tip. Immature: Spotted buff and dark brown.


North-eastern South Africa, eastern Botswana, Zimbabwe, and southern Mozambique.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Recent results indicate that this species does not belong in genus Cossypha. It might instead be placed in Bessonornis, Dessonornis or even Caffrornis. The Opus awaits clarification before acting on this.


Thickets, riverine bush, dense woodland and gardens.


Solitary or in pairs. The White-throated Robin Chat usually keeps to dense cover, where it forages on the ground for insects and other invertebrates. Fruit is also eaten.


An accomplished mimic, incorporating the calls of many other birds into its high-pitched, warbling song.


These birds breed from September to December; nests are made in a concealed position on the ground and two to three eggs are laid.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. 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

Recommended Citation

External Links

Search the Gallery using the scientific name:

Search the Gallery using the common name:

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.