Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Bocage's Akalat (Sheppardia bocagei)


French: Rougegorge de Bocage German: Bocagerötel Spanish: Akelat de Bocage

Cossypha bocagei

Finsch and Hartlaub

, 1870,

Biballa, Angola


Formerly placed in genus Cossypha. Until recently considered conspecific with S. poensis. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. b. ilyai (Prigogine, 1987) – E of Mt Kungwe, in W Tanzania.
  • S. b. chapini (Benson, 1955) – SE DRCongo, extreme SW Tanzania (Kitungulu) and N Zambia.
  • S. b. bocagei (Finsch & Hartlaub, 1870) – escarpment of W Angola, from Cuanza Sul to Huíla.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm. Nominate race has dark grey crown with pale greyish lores, white supraloral stripe, tawny-olive mantle to rump, wings dull brown, tail tawny-brown with foxy-rufous... read more


    Song a series of a standard simple, sweet yet mournful phrase, “diii da, du-du-du-du, dii da dii”,... read more


    Undergrowth of submontane and montane forest. Inhabits transitional and montane evergreen forest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects, including beetles (Tenebrionidae, Staphylinidae), flies (Diopsidae, Tipulidae), bugs (Psyllidae, Reduviidae), cockroaches,... read more


    Sept–Nov in Zambia and Oct–Dec in S DRCongo; breeding-condition birds Aug–Sept in Angola. Single nest described (found in late Nov in... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Frequent to locally abundant. Locally common in Angola. In Zambia, 3–4 birds in forest patch less than 1 ha, yielding density... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Bocage's Akalat (Sheppardia bocagei). 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 28 February 2020).