Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

White-throated Robin-chat (Dessonornis humeralis)


French: Cossyphe à gorge blanche German: Weißkehlrötel Spanish: Cosifa gorjiblanca

Dessonornis humeralis

A. Smith

, 1836,

banks of the Marico River, western Transvaal, South Africa


Proposed race crepuscula (from N & E of range) considered indistinguishable. Monotypic.


Zimbabwe and SE Botswana E to S Mozambique and NE South Africa.

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; 19–29 g. Has white forehead and supercilium; crown and neck side to back and scapulars slate-grey, rufous-orange rump and tail, latter with black... read more


Song, by both sexes (only male Jun–Jul), usually from high songpost, but by male often... read more


Thickets in open and closed woodland, riparian and sand-forest edges, landward ecotones of coastal... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates and fruit. Of twelve stomachs and 26 faecal samples, 63% held beetles, 55% ants, 42% termites, 37% caterpillars and moths, 18... read more


Sept–Dec in Zimbabwe, Dec in Botswana, and Sept–Oct in Mozambique; in South Africa, Sept–Dec in N and Sept–Nov in E... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common. Has extended its range N in Zimbabwe, perhaps assisted by spread of alien Lantana thicket.

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). White-throated Robin-chat (Dessonornis humeralis). 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).