Family Monarch-flycatchers (Monarchidae)

Least Concern

Western Crested-flycatcher (Trochocercus nitens)


French: Tchitrec noir German: Schwarzkopfmonarch Spanish: Monarca brillante
Other common names: Blue-headed Paradise-flycatcher, Blue-headed Crested-flycatcher

Trochocercus nitens


, 1859,

Camma River, Gabon


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. n. reichenowi Sharpe, 1904 – Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, S Ivory Coast, S Ghana and Togo.
  • T. n. nitens Cassin, 1859 – S Nigeria, W & S Cameroon, S Central African Republic, Gabon and W Congo S to NW Angola, also S South Sudan S to W, S & E DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda; recorded in NW Tanzania#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; 11·8 g. Has short but obvious crest, graduated tail. Male nominate race is wholly glossy blackish-blue above and to breast, with clearly delimited (by thin... read more


    Song a fast, long, far-carrying, hollow “hohohohohohohoho…”, often introduced (... read more


    Lowland and mid-elevation primary and secondary forest, even degraded patches. Favours dense... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, mostly insects, including moths (Lepidoptera), orthopterans, coleopterans, hymenopterans (mainly ants), cockroaches (Blattodea... read more


    Season Sept–Feb in Gabon, Feb, Aug, Sept and Nov in DRCongo, Apr in E Africa; also, birds in breeding condition (enlarged gonads) in... read more


    Sedentary in Gabon. No further information.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common. Density in NE Gabon variable, between 21·4–29·6 pairs/km², average 22 pairs/km². No other quantitative data.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Moeliker, K. (2018). Western Crested-flycatcher (Trochocercus nitens). 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 June 2018).