Family Bush-warblers (Scotocercidae)

Least Concern

Fiji Bush-warbler (Horornis ruficapilla)


French: Bouscarle des Fidji German: Fidschiseidensänger Spanish: Cetia de Fiyi

Vitia ruficapilla

E. P. Ramsay

, 1876,

Kadavu, Fiji


In the past sometimes placed in a separate genus, Vitia. All subspecies have similar songs, but nominate and badiceps differ from the other two in having many notes covering a wide frequency range and usually ending with a sharply downslurred note; moreover, nominate seems to have an alternative song, not (yet) recorded for other races. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. r. castaneopterus (Mayr, 1935) – Vanua Levu, in N Fiji.
  • H. r. funebris (Mayr, 1935) – Taveuni (NE Fiji).
  • H. r. badiceps (Finsch, 1876) – Viti Levu (C Fiji).
  • H. r. ruficapilla (E. P. Ramsay, 1876) – Kadavu (S Fiji).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 12·7 g. Medium-sized, drab-coloured bush-warbler with fairly long tail and fine bill. Nominate race has head and face rufous-brown, with dark eyestripe... read more


    Call a short “che che” or “tsic-tsic”. Song, usually from low vegetation,... read more


    Thick undergrowth and bamboo of mature upland forests, including steep forested slopes and wet... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food mostly small invertebrates. Forages low down or on ground. Active but extremely elusive, and rarely seen in the open; rarely seen in... read more


    Poorly known. Nest a loose and untidy ball of dry grasses and plant fibres. Clutch 2 eggs; no information on incubation and nestling... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Fiji EBA. Common, but frequently overlooked; usually best detected by its song, which is one of the... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Fiji Bush-warbler (Horornis ruficapilla). 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 18 April 2019).