AppearanceThe white-browed robin-chat is 19–20 cm long and weighs 29–51 g. The crown and face are black, and there is a white supercilium over the dark brown eye.
The back is olive grey-brown, and the rump is rufous. The two central tail feathers are olive-brown, and the other feathers are orange-rufous. The flight feathers and wing coverts are grey-brown, and the underwing coverts are rufous. The underparts are bright orange-rufous. The beak is black, and the legs are pinkish brown, brownish grey or dark brown.
The female is a little smaller than the male. The juvenile bird has a brown head and rufous-brown marks on its back. Its throat is pale, its breast is pale orange-buff, and its belly is pale orange.
DistributionThe range includes Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its habitats include riverine forest, thickets and also gardens. In East Africa it can be found up to 2,200 m above sea level, but in the part of its range south of the Limpopo River, it generally occurs at elevations below 1,000 m . In South Africa, its range in KwaZulu-Natal expanded south from the 1950s to the 1970s, but damage caused by a tropical cyclone in 1987 may have stopped the expansion.
Status''C. heuglini'' has a large range and a stable population trend, so the IUCN Red List has assessed it to be of least concern.
BehaviorThe diet consists of ants, termites, beetles, some other insects and arthropods, frogs and fruits. It bathes in water.
ReproductionAround the Equator, the bird probably breeds in all months of the year, and in East Africa, it breeds during the two wet seasons. In southern Africa, breeding has been recorded from July to May. It is monogamous. There are usually two and sometimes three broods per year. The female builds the nest, which is made of dead leaves, twigs and other plant material and built in a tree hole, stump, sapling, roots, river bank, or on the ground. It has been observed nesting near humans, on occupied buildings' walls and trellises covered with climbing plants. There are two to three eggs in a clutch. The nest is often parasitised by the red-chested cuckoo.This robin-chat is territorial and defends its territory by giving alarm calls and sometimes attacking the intruder.
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