Long-billed Crombec

Sylvietta rufescens

An endearing and confiding little bird with a peculiarly short tail, the Long-billed Crombec is usually encountered singly or in pairs as they actively search for insects, seeds and fruit among the leaves and branches of trees and shrubs, often joining other kinds of insectivorous birds in feeding parties. They inhabit a wide range of wooded habitats, from thorny thickets along drainage lines in the arid Karoo to various woodland associations. They also readily venture into parks and suburban gardens.

Long-billed Crombecs form territorial, monogamous pairs and nest in the months of spring and summer. Their bag-shaped nests, hung from a branch and constructed of spider web, fibres, leaves, grass and wood chips, take at least a week to build. Clutches count 1-3 eggs and are incubated by both parents in turns over a 2 week period. The chicks leave the nest when they’re two weeks old and usually become independent of their parents around ten days after fledging. Adults weigh around 11g.

The Long-billed Crombec has a wide distribution in South Africa, occurring in every province of our country. North of our borders they can be found as far as Angola and the southern DRC. The IUCN considers the Long-billed Crombec to be of least concern.

10 thoughts on “Long-billed Crombec

  1. Anne

    What a beautiful variety of photographs you have! I have recorded a single Long-billed Crombec in our garden – spent time watching it pick through the skeletal Cape Honeysuckle instead of trying to photograph it. These are a joy to see.

    Liked by 1 person

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