Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Fire-crested Alethe (Alethe castanea)


French: Alèthe à couronne orangée German: Kastanienbraunschwanz Spanish: Alete castaño

Napothera castanea


, 1856,

Mondah River, western Africa


See comments under A. diademata. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. c. castanea (Cassin, 1856) – S Nigeria E to W DRCongo, S to N Angola; also Bioko.
  • A. c. woosnami Ogilvie-Grant, 1906 – N & C DRCongo E to extreme SW South Sudan, W & S Uganda and NW Tanzania#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–20 cm; 27–40 g. Nominate race has chestnut forehead, pale orange centre of crown (erectile and tipped brown, so can be partly concealed), face ash-grey;... read more


    Song very like that of A. diademata, but with only 2 notes, “ho-fiir”, the... read more


    Ground and undergrowth of primary and old secondary forest, gallery forest, forest patches in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Termites, flies, cockroaches, grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, crickets, spiders, small frogs, and a few driver ants. Larger prey... read more


    May, Aug and Oct (juveniles Nov) in Cameroon (moult and brood-patch data suggest most breeding Apr–Nov); Dec–Mar (especially... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Density 13–16 pairs/km² in Gabon. Common on Bioko (commoner below 800 m than above). Fairly common in tiny range in S Sudan. Very common in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Fire-crested Alethe (Alethe castanea). 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 24 February 2020).