Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Briar Warbler (Oreophilais robertsi)


French: Apalis de Roberts German: Zügelfeinsänger Spanish: Prinia de Roberts
Other common names: Roberts's Warbler, Roberts's Prinia

Prinia robertsi


, 1946,

Vumba, near Mutare, east Zimbabwe




Highlands of E Zimbabwe and adjacent Mozambique.

Descriptive notes

13 cm; 9–12 g. Prinia-like warbler with long, graduated tail. Adult has crown and face slate-brown, merging into dull olive-brown mantle, upperwing-coverts, back and... read more


Harsh, shrill chattering “cha-cha-cha-cha”, recalling sound made by Turdoides babblers;... read more


Rank vegetation, including bracken (Pteridium) and briars (Smilax), along forest... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects and other small invertebrates, including beetles (Coleoptera), caterpillars (Lepidoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera)... read more


Breeds Sept–Feb, mainly Oct–Nov. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial while breeding. Nest a bulky, ball-shaped structure... read more


Mainly resident; ringed individuals recaptured at same site up to 8 years later, but one recaptured... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Eastern Zimbabwe Mountains EBA. Locally common.

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Briar Warbler (Oreophilais robertsi). 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 17 September 2019).