Family Reed-warblers (Acrocephalidae)

Least Concern

African Yellow Warbler (Iduna natalensis)


French: Hypolaïs jaune German: Natalspötter Spanish: Zarcero de Natal
Other common names: Dark-capped Yellow Warbler

Chloropeta natalensis

A. Smith

, 1847,

near Port Natal (= Durban), South Africa


Usually regarded as forming a species pair with I. similis. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • I. n. batesi (Sharpe, 1905) – Nigeria E to N DRCongo.
  • I. n. massaica (G. A. Fischer & Reichenow, 1884) – W & S Ethiopia, S South Sudan, NE DRCongo, Uganda, W & S Kenya, and NW & NE Tanzania.
  • I. n. major (E. J. O. Hartert, 1904) – Gabon E to S DRCongo (E to Maniema and S to Katanga), S to Angola (S to Benguela, N Huíla and S Lunda Sul) and N Zambia.
  • I. n. natalensis (A. Smith, 1847) – S Tanzania, Malawi, S Zambia, N & E Zimbabwe, NW & W Mozambique, E South Africa (E Limpopo S to C Eastern Cape) and Swaziland.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 10–15 g. A medium-sized olive-yellow warbler with broad, flycatcher-like bill. Nominate race has dark olive-brown cap, narrow yellow supercilium contrasting with... read more


    Song a repetition of short ringing phrases, “chup-chup chwee chwee chwee”, “... read more


    Moist rank vegetation. including bushes and tangled growth along streams and gulleys, or by lakes... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small insects and their larvae; recorded items include beetles (Coleoptera), lepidopterans (moths), locusts (Locustidae), mantids, and... read more


    Breeds mainly during rainy seasons; eggs laid mainly Apr–Jul N of equator, and in Sept–Apr, peak Nov–Dec, in S Africa.... read more


    Some post-breeding descent to lower altitudes in S Africa.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread in E & S Africa; locally common in parts of its range. Distribution patchy in W of range; uncommon to locally not uncommon in Nigeria... read more

    Recommended citation

    Pearson, D. (2018). African Yellow Warbler (Iduna natalensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 October 2018).