Macrosphenidae – Crombecs, African Warblers

Cape Grassbird (Sphenoeacus afer) by Ian

Cape Grassbird (Sphenoeacus afer) by Ian

And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” (Matthew 8:20 NKJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – PASSERIFORMES, Family – Crombecs, African warblers – Macrosphenidae

Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (18)

Moustached Grass Warbler (Melocichla mentalis)
Cape Grassbird (Sphenoeacus afer)
Rockrunner (Achaetops pycnopygius)
Yellow Longbill (Macrosphenus flavicans)
Kemp’s Longbill (Macrosphenus kempi)
Grey Longbill (Macrosphenus concolor)
Pulitzer’s Longbill (Macrosphenus pulitzeri)
Kretschmer’s Longbill (Macrosphenus kretschmeri)
Northern Crombec (Sylvietta brachyura)
Red-faced Crombec (Sylvietta whytii)
Philippa’s Crombec (Sylvietta philippae)
Long-billed Crombec (Sylvietta rufescens)
Somali Crombec (Sylvietta isabellina)
Red-capped Crombec (Sylvietta ruficapilla)
Green Crombec (Sylvietta virens)
Lemon-bellied Crombec (Sylvietta denti)
White-browed Crombec (Sylvietta leucophrys)
Victorin’s Warbler (Cryptillas victorini)


On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers, who have given their permission, with links on our sidebar. Please visit their site to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:
Ian Montgomery’s Birdway

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Rockrunner (Achaetops pycnopygius) – by Keith Blomerley


The African warblers are a newly erected family, Macrosphenidae, of songbirds. Most of the species were formerly placed in the Old World warbler family Sylviidae, although one species, the Rockrunner, was placed in the babbler family Timaliidae. A series of molecular studies of the Old World warblers and other bird families in the superfamily Sylvioidea (which includes the larks, swallows and tits) found that the African warblers were not part of the family Sylviidae but were instead an early offshoot (basal) to the entire Sylvioidea clade.

Some of the Family – Photos are Alphabetical down the columns:


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