Family Batises and Wattle-eyes (Platysteiridae)

Least Concern

Eastern Black-headed Batis (Batis minor)


French: Pririt à joues noires German: Keniaschnäpper Spanish: Batis carinegro

Batis orientalis minor


, 1901,

Salole, Jubba River, Somalia


Usually considered conspecific with B. erlangeri; separation based on significant differences in size and in plumage tones, as well as in voice#R. Sometimes treated as monotypic. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. m. minor Erlanger, 1901 – S Somalia (mainly in R Jubba and R Shebelle Valleys).
  • B. m. suahelica Neumann, 1907 – coastal areas of Kenya (also isolated population on Mt Endau, in SE) and Tanzania (extending inland to N Pare Mts, Mt Kilimanjaro and Kilosa); also Manda I.
  • Descriptive notes

    10 cm; 9·3–13·8 g. Small flycatcher-like and shrike-like bird with contrasting black, grey and white (and some rufous) colours. Male nominate race has crown and nape... read more


    Long piping high-pitched notes, usually in groups of 2–3, first note lower, clear and ringing... read more


    Wooded steppe with acacia (Acacia) and Commiphora; also riverine habitat (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet insects. Searches foliage or flycatches. One individual observed to capture insects one by one, in flight, 40 times consecutively,... read more


    Recorded in Apr in Somalia; in Kenya, Feb and Oct near Mombasa and Jun on Manda I; Jun in Tanzania. Probably territorial. Small, very... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally common; common at the coast. Uncommon in Tsavo East National Park, in Kenya. Has decreased recently in Somalia.

    Recommended citation

    Louette, M. (2020). Eastern Black-headed Batis (Batis minor). 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 23 February 2020).