Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Near Threatened

White-winged Apalis (Apalis chariessa)


French: Apalis à ailes blanches German: Spiegelfeinsänger Spanish: Apalis aliblanco

Apalis chariessa


, 1879,

Mitole, lower Tana River, east Kenya


Shows some affinities to A. jacksoni. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. c. chariessa Reichenow, 1879 – lower R Tana, in E Kenya (possibly extinct).
  • A. c. macphersoni Vincent, 1934 – highland forests in C & S Tanzania, S Malawi and adjacent N Mozambique (Mt Chiperone).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–13 cm. A very bright-plumaged apalis with very long and strongly graduated tail; sexes relatively highly dimorphic. Male nominate race has glossy black crown, face... read more


    Male song a lively “tee-lu tee-lu”, usually delivered in duet with female, “tee-... read more


    Canopy and edges of lowland, riverine and mid-altitude forests, secondary forest, also gardens.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects; chicks in Malawi fed almost entirely with beetle larvae (Coleoptera). Usually in pairs, but four seen in mixed-species... read more


    Breeds Oct–Jan. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial all year. Nest an oval bag with side entrance at top, made of beard lichen... read more


    Resident; some local dispersal. An exceptional record of singing male at Dzonze, in Kirk Mts,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Previously considered Vulnerable. Restricted-range species: present in Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA and East... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). White-winged Apalis (Apalis chariessa). 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 17 September 2019).