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Fan-tailed Grassbird - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Broad-tailed Warbler

Photo by Alan Manson
Cedara Farm, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, October 2007
Catriscus brevirostris

Schoenicola brevirostris


Length 15 cm; 15 g
Tail broad and wings short and rounded. Head greyish brown, back rusty brown grading to blackish brown upper tail coverts. Tail very dark brown, tipped buff. Wings dark brown above.


Africa south of the Sahara.
Western Africa: found in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Zaire
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi
Southern Africa: Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and eSwatini


This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 2 subspecies.

Considered by some to be conspecific with Broad-tailed Grassbird Schoenicola platyura of Asia.


  • C. b. alexinae:
  • C. b. brevirostris:


Tall grassland.


Generally occurs singly or in pairs. Usually concealed low down in dense grass, but sometimes perches prominently, especially on rainy or misty mornings.


Song: is distinctive; a slow, metallic zink, zink, zink. Feeds on invertebrates.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://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
  3. Avibase

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.