Birda Logo
A photo of a Long-billed Crombec (Sylvietta rufescens)
Long-billed Crombec

Long-billed Crombec

Sylvietta rufescens

The long-billed crombec, or Cape crombec, is a diminutive African warbler, notable for its nearly tailless stature. This bird measures a mere 12 cm in length and tips the scales at around 16 grams. Its plumage is a subtle blend of grey-brown on the upperparts, while a pale grey supercilium graces its head, set apart from the whitish throat by a contrasting dark eye stripe. The breast is a soft whitish hue, transitioning smoothly into a buff belly. The species' defining feature, its long and slightly curved bill, is a dark blackish color.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the long-billed crombec, look for its small size, nearly absent tail, and the distinctive long, curved bill. Both sexes present a similar appearance, and the juvenile birds bear a strong resemblance to the adults. The bird's pale supercilium and dark eye stripe are key markers to distinguish it from other species.


The long-billed crombec is commonly found in fynbos, a type of shrubland or heathland vegetation, as well as in open woodlands, savannahs, and dry Acacia scrub.


This species breeds in the southern reaches of Africa, with its range extending from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, and Tanzania, all the way south to South Africa.


The long-billed crombec is a monogamous bird, pairing for life, and exhibits territorial behavior. It is often observed alone, in pairs, or within family groups. It forages methodically from the lower to the upper parts of bushes and trees, in search of insects and grass seeds. This bird is also known to participate in mixed-species feeding flocks. Its flight between trees is characterized by a distinctive bouncy quality.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of the long-billed crombec includes a variable series of trilled notes, such as "trreee-rriiit trreee-rriiit," and a harsh "pttt."


The nest of the long-billed crombec is an elaborate hanging bag constructed from grasses, spider webs, and plant fibers, often attached to the lower limbs of an Acacia tree. The species lays one to three white eggs, which are incubated for a fortnight until hatching. Both parents are involved in feeding the chicks, which fledge after an additional two weeks.

Diet and Feeding

This bird's diet consists primarily of insects and grass seeds, which it seeks out in its methodical foraging behavior from the lower to the upper parts of vegetation.

Conservation status

The long-billed crombec is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List. It boasts a large range, estimated at 4,500,000 km², and is believed to have a large population size. There is no evidence to suggest that the population is declining at a rate that would meet the criteria for a more threatened category.

Long-billed Crombec Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Long-billed Crombecs on Birda


More Crombecs, African Warblers

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Makes you want to spot birds more
I think this app is fun. It makes you want to spot birds more so I guess in a way it encourages you to get out and about instead of sitting in front of the TV.
David C
Very knowledgeable group
Nice friendly birding community. Very knowledgeable group with a willingness to help.
Very Wholesome App
Joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter 😄
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Learning Birding with Birda
I’m relatively new to birding as a hobby, and Birda is a great way to keep track off all the species I see. I’m still working on my ID skills, but the app is great for figuring out potential species, and the online community is so friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend Birda to both early and serious birders! 🐦
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
Nick S
Work together with community
Been loving using this app to log my bird sightings and work together with community members to identify different birds. I've already learned a lot since I started about a month ago!
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Just what birding needs
We need more fun in birding, for years it has had a reputation for being up tight and stuffy and only perused by retirees and anoraks. Birda helps change that perception and firmly brings birding into the 21st century! Fun, interactive while still contributing to science and conservation. If you aren’t on it, why not??
Paul F
Very good database
Highly recommend. It great that this app shows you male Vs female variations when posting. Very good database I'm really impressed.
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved