Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Red-capped Forest-warbler (Artisornis metopias)


French: Apalis couturière German: Rotkappensänger Spanish: Sastrecillo africano
Other common names: African Tailorbird

Prinia metopias


, 1907,

Usambara Mountains, north-east Tanzania


Geographical variation slight; race pallidus often included in nominate. Population of Nguru Mts (NE Tanzania) tentatively included in nominate race, but large genetic differences exist between latter’s main population (on Usambara Mts) and remaining Tanzanian populations. Form described as race bensoni of present species is a synonym of Apalis chapini strausae. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. m. metopias (Reichenow, 1907) – Usambara Mts and Nguru Mts, in NE Tanzania.
  • A. m. altus (Friedmann, 1927) – Uluguru Mts, in E Tanzania.
  • A. m. pallidus Ripley & Heinrich, 1966 – mountains of SC Tanzania and N Mozambique (Njesi Plateau).
  • Descriptive notes

    10 cm; 7–10 g. A small, rufous-headed warbler with relatively long bill. Nominate race has most of head and neck rufous-chestnut, becoming whitish on centre of throat;... read more


    Song often a duet, one bird uttering monotonous repeated “swee-swee-swee” or thinner, higher “... read more


    Dense, wet forest undergrowth, especially with tree-ferns, and along forest edge, including pine (... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly small invertebrates, chiefly insects. Often in pairs or family groups; sometimes joins mixed-species parties. Forages low down... read more


    Breeds Dec–Feb. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. Nest pouch of living leaves, sewn together in typical tailorbird fashion... read more


    Little known; presumably mostly resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA. Locally common. Populations appear to be stable, with exception of that in Amani... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2019). Red-capped Forest-warbler (Artisornis metopias). 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 19 September 2019).