Cape Crombec or Long-billed Crombec

The Cape Crombec or Long-billed Crombec (Sylvietta rufescens) occur naturally in southern Africa from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Tanzania southwards to South Africa.

This is a common species in fynbos, open woodland, savannah and dry Acacia scrub.


These birds are usually seen alone, in pairs, or in family groups as they forage methodically from the bottom to the top of bushes and trees for insects and grass seeds. They will join mixed-species feeding flocks.


The Cape Crombec is a small, nearly tailless bird that measures about 12 cm in length and weighs around 16 g.

Its upperparts are brownish grey-brown, and there is a pale grey supercilium (line above eye), separated from the whitish throat by a dark eye stripe. The whitish breast shades into the buff belly.

The long slightly curved bill is blackish.

Males and females look alike, and the juvenile resembles the adult.

It moves between trees with a bouncy flight.

Calls / Vocalizations

The call is a variable series of trilled notes including trreee-rriiit trreee-rriiit and a harsh pttt.

Nesting / Breeding

The Cape Crombec’s nest is a large, hanging bag of grasses, spider webs, and plant fibres, which is attached to the lower limbs of a tree, often an Acacia.

The one to three white eggs are incubated for two weeks to hatching, and the chicks are fed by both parents for another two weeks to fledging.

This territorial species is monogamous, pairing for life.

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