Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Eastern Crested-flycatcher (Trochocercus bivittatus)


French: Tchitrec bifascié German: Haubenmonarch Spanish: Monarca morado oriental

Trochocercus bivittatus


, 1879,

Muniuni, lower Tana River, Kenya


Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. cyanomelas, but differs in its longer crest (allow 1); and in female dark grey breast covered in bold white spotting vs mid-grey breast (slightly darker than pale grey of belly) with very vague small white spots (3); double white wingbar vs bold white wing patch (3); and greyish, slightly sheeny vs matt greyish-brown upperparts and tail (at least 1). Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. b. vivax Neave, 1909 – W Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, NW Tanzania, SE DRCongo (Shaba) and adjacent N & W Zambia; also, perhaps this race, SW Kenya#R.
  • T. b. bivittatus Reichenow, 1879 – C & SE Kenya, S Somalia and to E Tanzania, including Zanzibar I.
  • T. b. megalolophus Swynnerton, 1907 – Malawi and N Mozambique S to E Zimbabwe and NE South Africa (E KwaZulu-Natal).
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 6–12·1 g. Feathers of crown elongated, forming long pointed crest. Adult male has glossy blue-black head, throat and breast, white belly, mostly slate-blue... read more


    Song loud and ringing, some loud separate notes followed by liquid trill, “zweep-tyew-too-... read more


    Dense moist thickets of coastal, lowland and mid-altitude evergreen forest, riparian forest and, in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small insects. Feeds solitarily or in pairs, sometimes in mixed-species flocks. Mostly in understorey and lower and middle stages of forest... read more


    Season Sept in Rwanda and DRCongo, Apr in Uganda, Feb and Dec in Malawi, Oct–Jan in Zimbabwe and Sept and Dec in Zambia. Monogamous;... read more


    Resident; in S Africa some local seasonal movements may occur in Jun–Jul and Dec.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally frequent to uncommon. In Kenya mainly occurs E of Rift Valley, but recently discovered in SW on Oloololo Escarpment and in... read more

    Recommended citation

    del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Eastern Crested-flycatcher (Trochocercus bivittatus). 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 16 January 2019).