Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Mountain Robin-chat (Oreocossypha isabellae)


French: Cossyphe d’Isabel German: Kamerunrötel Spanish: Cosifa de Isabel

Cossypha Isabellæ

G. R. Gray

, 1862,

Cameroon Mountain, 7000 feet [c. 2130 m], Cameroon


Has sometimes been placed in genus Dryocichloides or in Sheppardia. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. i. batesi (Bannerman, 1922) – Highland Robin-chat – E Nigeria and W Cameroon.
  • O. i. isabellae (G. R. Gray, 1862) – Mountain Robin-chat – Mt Cameroon (SW Cameroon).
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; 19–28 g. Nominate race is dark olive-brown above and on cheeks, with whitish supercilium fading behind eye, rufous-chestnut rump and tail, latter with blackish... read more


    Song very like that of Dessonornis archeri, a tuneless, monotonous series of high trilled... read more


    Understorey of montane forest at 1100–2700 m, but as low as 800 m on Mt Cameroon, where... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles, and small seeds. Forages on ground and in low undergrowth; perches on shrubs, fallen trees, tree stumps, and... read more


    Probably mainly Mar–Sept, coinciding with start of long rains; only certain dates are Sept in Cameroon (brood patches Jul–Aug,... read more


    Sedentary, so far as is known.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Cameroon Mountains EBA. Fairly common. Commonest at highest elevations. Mt Kilum (Mt Oku) is an important... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Mountain Robin-chat (Oreocossypha isabellae). 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 January 2020).