• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Bush Blackcap - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by peterday
Himeville, South Africa, January 2019

Alternative name: Blackcap Mountain Babbler

Sylvia nigricapillus

Lioptilus nigricapillus


Length 16-18 cm, mass 30 g
Adult: Head is capped black to mantle and below the eye. The rest of the upperparts are brown and the underparts are pale grey. The bill is orange-pink, the eyes are brown and the legs and feet are pale pink.


Eastern South Africa and western eSwatini. Populations breeding at high altitudes migrate to lower altitudes in winter.


Formerly placed in the genus Lioptilus.

This is a monotypic species[1].


Forest patches, forest margins and scrubby vegetation including short woody Leucosidea and Buddleja thickets.


Often solitary. Inconspicuous unless calling.


Food is mainly fruit, but includes insects.


The nest is a cup built by both sexes using plant material, usually within 4 m (12 feet) of the ground. Two eggs are laid between October and February.


Song is distinctive; loud and melodious. Generally only heard in breeding season.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533

Recommended Citation

External Links