Family Crombecs and allies (Macrosphenidae)

Least Concern

White-browed Crombec (Sylvietta leucophrys)


French: Crombec à sourcils blancs German: Weißbrauensylvietta Spanish: Crombec cejiblanco

Sylviella leucophrys


, 1891,

Mount Elgon, Kenya–Uganda border


Usually treated as conspecific with S. chapini (which see). Two subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. l. chloronota E. J. O. Hartert, 1920 – highlands of E DRCongo (W of L Edward S to S of Baraka, Mt Kabobo), SW Uganda (Kigezi), W Rwanda, W Burundi, and W Tanzania (Mt Mahare).
  • S. l. leucophrys Sharpe, 1891 – W Uganda (Kibale Forest, Rwenzori), Mt Elgon and highlands of W & C Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–9·5 cm; 8–13·5 g. Nominate race has broad white supercilium, contrasting chestnut-brown crown and chestnut band behind eye; upperparts dark olive-... read more


    Song a short, clear, high-pitched “chir-wi-wee, chir-wi-wee-chew”, slightly trilled,... read more


    Edges and more open parts of montane forest and bamboo zone; tangled thickets; bushes and low trees... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists of small insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), caterpillars and eggs; also spiders (Araneae), small snails. Forages in... read more


    Breeds Jun–Jul in DRCongo, Aug and Sept in Rwanda, Feb in Burundi, May–Jun in Uganda, and Dec, Jan and Mar–Jul in Kenya. Solitary and... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Three disjunct populations, all of which are locally rather common and collectively are believed to be stable. Known from a... read more

    Recommended citation

    Pearson, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). White-browed Crombec (Sylvietta leucophrys). 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 29 March 2020).