Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Apalis (Apalis personata)


French: Apalis à face noire German: Kivufeinsänger Spanish: Apalis carinegro
Other common names: Mountain Masked Apalis, Mountain Apalis

Apalis personata


, 1902,

Rwenzori, DRCongo–Uganda


Sometimes treated as conspecific with A. binotata. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. p. personata Sharpe, 1902 – NE & E DRCongo, SW Uganda, W Rwanda and W Burundi.
  • A. p. marungensis Chapin, 1932 – Marungu Plateau, in SE DRCongo.
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 9–12 g. A dark-headed forest apalis with white spot on neck side, fairly short tail. Male nominate race has head blackish, large white spot on side of... read more


    Male call a ­series of dry notes, “chirrupip chirrupip chirru­pip…”, more distinctly... read more


    Montane and gallery forests, secondary forest and edges of clearings. Above 1500 m (up to 2800 m)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet insects, including small beetles (Coleoptera), caterpillars (Lepidoptera) and other small larvae. Occurs in pairs or small family... read more


    Breeds Mar–Aug, although some adults in breeding condition in Nov in Rwanda. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. No further... read more


    Presumably mostly resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Albertine Rift Mountains EBA. Locally common. Average density 3·7 birds/ha in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Black-faced Apalis (Apalis personata). 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 26 August 2019).