Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

White-bellied Robin-chat (Cossyphicula roberti)


French: Cossyphe à ventre blanc German: Weißbauchrötel Spanish: Cosifa ventriblanco
Other common names: African Flycatcher-chat

Callene roberti


, 1903,

Bakaki, Bioko Island


Has been placed in Cossypha and Sheppardia, and shares characters with both; vocally similar to Stiphrornis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. roberti (Alexander, 1903) – White-bellied Robin-chat – SE Nigeria (Obudu Plateau), W Cameroon (including Mt Cameroon) and Bioko.
  • C. r. rufescentior (E. J. O. Hartert, 1908) – Albertine Robin-chat – E DRCongo (Kivu Mts and Itombwe), SW Uganda (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) and Rwanda (Nyungwe Forest).
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm. Similar in size and coloration to Sheppardia aequatorialis. Plumage is olive-brown from head (below eye) to upper back, with narrow white line from bill over... read more


    Song, often preceded by lengthy introduction of subdued phrases, a standard phrase, repeated with... read more


    Primary and old secondary forest, at 1300 m in Nigeria, 650–2400 m in Cameroon, 800–... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small invertebrates, mainly insects (including beetles and caterpillars), and small fruits (Galmiera). Forages in all strata, from... read more


    Breeding-condition birds Nov and Mar in Cameroon (with juveniles Feb), Nov on Bioko (juvenile Apr), Jan–May in DRCongo, and Mar... read more


    Sedentary; some altitudinal movement possible.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally common SE Nigeria and W Cameroon; Mt Kilum (Mt Oku) is only known stronghold in Bamenda Highlands (Cameroon). Fairly common in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). White-bellied Robin-chat (Cossyphicula roberti). 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 25 February 2020).