Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)


Swynnerton's Robin (Swynnertonia swynnertoni)


French: Rougegorge de Swynnerton German: Swynnertonrötel Spanish: Ruiseñor de Swynnerton

Erythracus [sic] swynnertoni


, 1906,

Chirinda Forest, Mashonaland, Zimbabwe


Sometimes placed in genus Pogonocichla, but only superficially similar and has strikingly longer (and thinner) tarsus. Described race umbratica (from Mt Gorongosa, Mozambique) synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. s. rodgersi Jensen & Stuart, 1982 – Mwanihana Forest, Chita, Udzungwa Mts and E Usambara foothills, in NE & C Tanzania.
  • S. s. swynnertoni (Shelley, 1906) – E Zimbabwe (Vumba Highlands, Mt Selinda) and NC & C Mozambique (Mt Mabu, Mt Gorongosa).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm; 14–20 g. Male nominate race has dark grey hood, white crescent on lower foreneck bordered below by black line running to neck side; mantle to rump olive... read more


    “Loud song”, by both sexes, a sweet high leisurely whistling phrase of two types, one... read more


    Moist evergreen forest on scarps or mountains. On Chirinda (Zimbabwe) and Gorongosa (Mozambique)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects. Of 25 stomachs and four faecal samples from Zimbabwe (Chirinda), 93% held beetles, 55% ants, 38% wasps, 21% caterpillars... read more


    Oct–Jan, peak Nov–Dec, in Zimbabwe; probably same in Tanzania and Mozambique. Nest, built in 7–10 days, a variably sized... read more



    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Eastern Zimbabwe Mountains EBA and Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA. Estimated global population more than 10,000 mature... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). Swynnerton's Robin (Swynnertonia swynnertoni). 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 22 January 2020).