Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Archer's Robin-chat (Dessonornis archeri)


French: Cossyphe d’Archer German: Ruwenzorirötel Spanish: Cosifa de Archer
Other common names: Archer's Ground Robin

Cossypha archeri


, 1902,

Rwenzori, Uganda


Recently placed by one authority in Dryocichloides. Race albimentalis synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. a. archeri (Sharpe, 1902) – Archer's Robin-chat – SW Uganda, E DRCongo, W Rwanda and W Burundi.
  • D. a. kimbutui (Prigogine, 1955) – Kabobo Robin-chat – Mt Kabobo, in E DRCongo.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; 20–26 g. Nominate race resembles Oreocossypha isabellae, but with slightly longer white supercilium, white spot on chin, uniform rufous tail; bill black... read more


    Song, delivered throughout day for several months, a curious melancholy loud trilled piping... read more


    Understorey of montane forest, including secondary growth with open understorey of bracken, wild... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, such as beetles, ants, termites, hemipteran bugs, hymenopterans and caterpillars; small millipedes. Forages on and near ground on... read more


    Possibly all year except Jun–Aug dry season; evidence of Jan, Apr, Oct and Dec in Rwanda, Oct–Nov, Mar and May in DRCongo, and... read more


    Mainly sedentary. Some altitudinal migration or juvenile dispersal may occur in Kivu region of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Albertine Rift Mountains EBA. Common to abundant, particularly along streamsides.

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2019). Archer's Robin-chat (Dessonornis archeri). 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 14 December 2019).