Family Crombecs and allies (Macrosphenidae)

Least Concern

Kretschmer's Longbill (Macrosphenus kretschmeri)


French: Nasique de Kretschmer German: Suaheli-Bülbülgrasmücke Spanish: Picolargo de Kretschmer

Phyllostrephus [sic] kretschmeri

Reichenow and Neumann

, 1895,

Kibosho, Mount Kilimanjaro, c. 2500 m, Tanzania


Originally considered to be a greenbul (Pycnonotidae) and was assigned to monospecific Suaheliornis, based on its larger size, longer tail and stouter bill. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. k. kretschmeri (Reichenow & Neumann, 1895) – NE & E Tanzania: Mt Kilimanjaro, Moshi, and from Usambaras and Ngurus S to Ulugurus and Udzungwas (in Mwahihana and Magombera Forests), and on coast in forests of Kiono, Pugu, Kazimzumbwe and Kiwengome.
  • M. k. griseiceps Grote, 1911 – SE Tanzania (Mikandani) and N Mozambique (Netia).
  • Descriptive notes

    14–14·5 cm; 17·5–22 g. Rather large greenbul-like warbler with long straight bill and pale eyes. Has top and side of head greyish-olive, upperparts and upperwing-... read more


    Song, from concealed perch, bulbul-like, a quick phrase of c. 4 loud clear notes, the first higher... read more


    Dense undergrowth and middle stratum of lowland and intermediate-level forest; bushy forest edge;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects. Forages singly, in pairs or in small groups. Forages in thick vegetation; searches among leaves on forest floor.


    Birds in breeding condition in Feb and Apr in Tanzania. No other information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common at Netia, in N Mozambique; otherwise uncommon to locally common. Nominate race formerly occurred also in Kitovu Forest, in SE Kenya. Has... read more

    Recommended citation

    Pearson, D. (2019). Kretschmer's Longbill (Macrosphenus kretschmeri). 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 21 February 2019).