Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Chorister Robin-chat (Cossypha dichroa)


French: Cossyphe choriste German: Spottrötel Spanish: Cosifa bicolor

Muscicapa dichroa

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

South Africa


See comments under C. natalensis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. d. mimica Clancey, 1981 – N South Africa (E Northern Province).
  • C. d. dichroa (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Mpumalanga and W Swaziland S, including extreme E Lesotho, to E Western Cape.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–20 cm; 38–48 g. Has head (to below eye) to back dark slate-grey (blackest on face), shading to orange-rufous on rump and tail, latter with blackish central... read more


    Song, given only when breeding, beautiful and powerful, like that of C. natalensis but... read more


    Breeds in montane evergreen forest at 1400–1800 m, generally above 1700 m, in N of range;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily insects, also fruit. Of eleven stomachs and 33 faecal samples from N & E of range, 73% held beetles, 61% ants, 57% fruits (... read more


    Oct–Dec, with 70% of clutches laid Nov; slightly later peak in W of range. Territory size in one case 1·2 ha. Nest an open cup,... read more


    Sedentary at lower levels. Elsewhere a full or partial altitudinal migrant, notably in KwaZulu-... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in South African Forests EBA. Generally common. Abundant resident in Ngoye Forest. In Lesotho, recently found in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2019). Chorister Robin-chat (Cossypha dichroa). 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 13 November 2019).