Chat, White-crowned Robin

Cossypha albicapilla

The largest of the 14 species of robin-chat with a total body length of nearly 11 inches, it has a black head with a conspicuous white crown, black back, wings and tail and an orange belly. The sexes are similar.








Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Togo


Dry savanna and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland

Life Expectancy

Estimated to range from 10-20 years

Sexual Maturity

1-2 years


In the wild, they eat insects


IUCN - Least Concern


These robin-chats appear to be monogamous and territorial during the breeding season, but sometimes gather into small feeding flocks during the winter. The female lays two somewhat glossy grey-green eggs with violet spots in a cup shaped stick nest. Birds that used to be primarily found in woodlands have adapted to human life and are now commonly seen in towns and city parks.


Special Interests

he robin-chats are in the genera Cossyphicula and Cossypha. They were formerly in the thrush family, Turdidae, but are now more often treated as part of the Old World flycatcher family, Muscicapidae.



Cossypha albicapilla is listed by IUCN for the following: This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 1,000,000 km. The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as 'frequent' in at least parts of its range (Keith et al. 1992). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Jacksonville Zoo History

This robin chat has been part of the Jacksonville Zoo’s animal collection since 1994. The Jacksonville Zoo has successfully bred this species.


River Valley and Streambank Aviaries