Family Batises and Wattle-eyes (Platysteiridae)

Least Concern

Western Black-headed Batis (Batis erlangeri)


French: Pririt d’Erlanger German: Kongoschnäpper Spanish: Batis de Erlanger
Other common names: Von Erlanger's Batis

Batis minor erlangeri


, 1907,

Garamulata, near Harar, Ethiopia


Usually considered conspecific with B. minor (which see). Possibility of N–S intergradation of present species with B. orientalis in general area of Chad–Central African Republic–W Sudan has been suggested (see B. orientalis). Sometimes treated as monotypic. Proposed races nyansae (Uganda) and batesi (Cameroon) included in nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. e. erlangeri Neumann, 1907 – N of equatorial forest belt: from extreme SE Nigeria (Mambilla Plateau)#R, C Cameroon (Mt Kupe and Mt Oku, and recorded S to Mt Cameroon and Yaoundé area) and S Chad E to S Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, S to E DRCongo, Burundi, NW Tanzania and W Kenya.
  • B. e. congoensis Neumann, 1907 – S of equatorial forest belt: from Gabon and S Congo E to S DRCongo (lower Congo, Kasai) and S to N Angola.
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; 8·3–14 g. Small flycatcher-like and shrike-like bird with contrasting black, grey, white and some rufous. Male has crown and mantle jet-black (some... read more


    Monotonous pure and clear penetrating whistled notes; varies regionally in modulation. Call always... read more


    Secondary forest, woodland, wooded grassland, large gardens. To at least 1600 m in Kenya, and in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet insects. Forages at all levels, from undergrowth to canopy; not known to come to ground. Makes short sallies; captures insects one by... read more


    Season varies with region: Jan–Apr in Cameroon, Jan–Apr in Sudan and Mar–Jun in Uganda; in DRCongo, Mar–May in N... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not assessed. Generally a common species of the moist guinean savanna in Cameroon, from border of forest to Adamawa Plateau. Common in Angola; reasonably common in Kenya.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Louette, M. (2020). Western Black-headed Batis (Batis erlangeri). 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 18 February 2020).