Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Southern Crested-flycatcher (Trochocercus cyanomelas)


French: Tchitrec du Cap German: Kapmonarch Spanish: Monarca morado meridional
Other common names: Blue-mantled Paradise-flycatcher, Blue-mantled Crested-flycatcher, African Crested-flycatcher

Muscicapa cyanomelas


, 1818,

Auteniquoi, Knysna district, Cape Province, South Africa


Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. bivittatus (see above). Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. c. segregus Clancey, 1975 – NE South Africa (Limpopo S to W KwaZulu-Natal).
  • T. c. cyanomelas (Vieillot, 1818) – coastal S & SE South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; 10 g. Feathers of crown elongated, forming long pointed crest. Male nominate race has glossy blue-black head and breast, grey upperparts, ­blackish tail... read more


    Song loud and ringing, some loud separate notes followed by liquid trill, “zweep-tyew-too-... read more


    Dense moist thickets of coastal, lowland and mid-altitude evergreen forest, riparian forest and, in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small insects. Feeds solitarily or in pairs, sometimes in mixed-species flocks. Mostly in understorey and lower and middle stages of forest... read more


    Season Sept in Rwanda and DRCongo, Apr in Uganda, Feb and Dec in Malawi, Oct–Jan in Zimbabwe; in South Africa, Dec in Northern... read more


    Resident; in S Africa some local seasonal movements may occur in Jun–Jul and Dec.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally frequent to uncommon. In Kenya occurs E of Rift valley; few recent records of separate population in C highlands, and probably declining. In... read more

    Recommended citation

    Moeliker, K. (2017). Southern Crested-flycatcher (Trochocercus cyanomelas). 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 20 November 2017).