Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

White-crowned Robin-chat (Cossypha albicapillus)


French: Cossyphe à calotte blanche German: Weißscheitelrötel Spanish: Cosifa coroniblanca

Turdus albicapillus


, 1818,



Original species name is a noun in apposition, and thus invariable. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. albicapillus (Vieillot, 1818) – Senegal and Gambia E to Guinea, N Sierra Leone, S Mali and N Ivory Coast.
  • C. a. giffardi E. J. O. Hartert, 1899 – Burkina Faso, N & C Ghana E, including extreme SW Niger, to N Cameroon, N Central African Republic and S Chad.
  • C. a. omoensis Sharpe, 1900 – SE South Sudan and SW Ethiopia.
  • Descriptive notes

    23–27 cm; 53–65 g. Resembles C. niveicapilla, but much larger and very long-tailed, lacks orange-rufous semi-collar; differs from all congeners in having... read more


    Song a sustained, variable-speed, rich warbling with trills and scratchy harsh notes, not generally... read more


    Thickets and gallery forest, usually in dry savanna-woodland areas with 300–500 mm annual... read more

    Food and feeding

    Few data; foraging birds apparently take insects in Nigeria, and are sometimes caught in traps baited with termites and ants in Cameroon.... read more


    Jun, Aug–Sept and Dec in Gambia, Dec in Niger and Burkina Faso, and Jul in Nigeria. Nest a scant open cup of decaying leaves and... read more


    Sedentary in Sudan, and elsewhere so far as known, but possibly partial migrant in W Africa;... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally common in Senegal; common in Madingo Mts, in Mali; frequent in N Ivory Coast; probably not uncommon in N Ghana; frequent and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2020). White-crowned Robin-chat (Cossypha albicapillus). 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 28 February 2020).