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Species Guide

Red-capped Crombec

Sylvietta ruficapilla

The Red-capped Crombec, Sylvietta ruficapilla, presents itself as a diminutive avian, stretching a mere 11 to 12 centimeters from beak to tail. Adorned with an unmistakable red, or perhaps more accurately, a burnt orange cap, this bird's plumage is a study in subtlety, with olive-brown hues cloaking its body. A paler yellow underbelly provides a gentle contrast, while its wings and tail bear a slightly darker shade. The Crombec's slim, sharp bill is a specialized tool, perfectly evolved for the delicate task of insect foraging.

Identification Tips

When seeking the Red-capped Crombec, look for its distinctive red cap, which is a beacon amidst the foliage. The bird's olive-brown back and paler underparts, along with its sharp, slender bill, are key characteristics that aid in its identification. Its small size and active foraging behavior are also helpful indicators.


The Red-capped Crombec is a denizen of a variety of environments, ranging from subtropical or tropical dry forests to dry and moist shrublands. These habitats provide the necessary cover and food resources for this species.


This species graces a swath of the African continent with its presence, being found in Angola, Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and potentially Botswana.


The Crombec is a stationary bird, exhibiting territorial behavior around its nesting sites. It is known to join mixed-species foraging parties, a testament to its sociable nature when seeking sustenance.


Breeding activities for the Red-capped Crombec are timed with the end of the dry season. These birds construct cup-shaped nests from grass and spider webs, often in trees or tall, dense shrubs. A clutch typically consists of 2-4 eggs, which are incubated for approximately 12 days. Breeding occurs once annually, with egg-laying observed from September to March.

Diet and Feeding

Insects form the cornerstone of the Crombec's diet, with ants, beetles, caterpillars, and spiders being particular favorites. The bird's sharp bill is adept at plucking these morsels from tree leaves and shrubs, both at the canopy level and on the ground.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List categorizes the Red-capped Crombec as Least Concern, indicating a stable population without immediate threats to its survival. However, continued monitoring is essential to ensure this status remains unchanged.

Red-capped Crombec Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Red-capped Crombecs on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Martin Tlustos
22 Oct 2023 - 10:33am

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