No matter the reason behind your search for birds with names ending in the letter “C,” you’ve landed in the right place. Many of the birds on this list belong to the crombecs, a genus of African Warblers. While they may not be the most common, they are rich in unique characteristics. With that said, let’s learn some interesting facts about the individual species in this odd category of birds.
1. Green crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta virens
The Green Crombec is a small, distinctive bird native to the forests and woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. Characterized by its bright green plumage, which provides excellent camouflage in its leafy surroundings, and a short tail, the Green Crombec is known for its melodious song, a feature common among members of the Crombec family.
This bird is insectivorous and adept at foraging for insects and spiders among the foliage. One of its unique behaviors includes its method of nest building; the Green Crombec constructs a deep, cup-shaped nest, often suspended from a thin branch.
2. Lemon-bellied crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta denti
The Lemon-bellied Crombec stands out for its vivid lemon-yellow underbelly contrasting sharply with its olive-green upper parts. This bird is a small and handy inhabitant of the woodlands and savannahs across Central and East Africa, easily identified by its short tail and elongated, curved bill which aids in its search for insects among foliage.
It is especially recognized for its melodious and distinctive song, making it more often heard than seen within its dense, leafy habitats. Adaptability is a key trait of the Lemon-bellied Crombec, allowing it to thrive in diverse environmental conditions.
3. Long-billed crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta rufescens
The Cape Crombec is a tiny, round bird with almost no tail. It has a buff-orange underside and gray-brown top, with a dark stripe through its eye and a light-colored eyebrow. Often found in pairs, these birds join groups of different species, moving quickly along branches and sometimes hanging upside down to find food, which includes insects and some plant matter.
They live in woodlands, savannas, and dry scrub areas, and are known for their unique, soft “chree-chirrit” call. Unlike other crombecs, its tail is quite short, making its long bill even more pronounced.
4. Northern crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta brachyura
The Northern Crombec is a small, inconspicuous bird found across the Sahel region of Africa. It is distinguished by its short tail, almost giving the appearance of being tailless, and its elongated, curved bill, which is adept at probing for insects in crevices and under bark.
The bird’s plumage is predominantly grayish or brownish, allowing it to blend into its arid and semi-arid habitat surroundings. One of the Northern Crombec’s notable behaviors is its active foraging technique, as it moves along tree branches in search of food.
5. Philippa’s crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta philippae
Philippa’s Crombec is a relatively lesser-known bird species, distinguished by its very limited range in Somalia, making it one of the more unique members of the Crombec family. This bird is characterized by its small size, subtle gray to brownish plumage, and a notably long bill, which it uses to forage for insects among the foliage.
Unlike many of its relatives, it has a somewhat longer tail, which differentiates it from other crombecs. Philippa’s Crombec is primarily found in arid and semi-arid bushland, where it leads a relatively secretive life, making it a challenge for birdwatchers to spot.
Scientific Name: Ptilostomus afer
The Piapiac is a unique bird species found in West and Central Africa, easily recognizable by its glossy black plumage, long tail, and distinctive crest on its head. This bird is known for its social nature, often seen in small flocks that forage together in both rural and urban landscapes.
The Piapiac is omnivorous, feeding on a wide range of food from insects to small vertebrates and even human food scraps, showcasing its adaptability. One of the most fascinating behaviors of the Piapiac is its interaction with large mammals, such as following them to feed on insects disturbed by their movement.
7. Red-capped crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta ruficapilla
The Red-capped Crombec is a small bird known for its distinctive reddish-brown cap, which contrasts with its otherwise dull, grayish-to-brownish body plumage. This species is found across a wide range of habitats in sub-Saharan Africa, from dry savannas to moist woodlands.
It has a short tail and a long, slender bill, enabling it to adeptly pick insects from bark and leaves. The Red-capped Crombec is active and agile, often seen flitting through vegetation in search of food. Its song is a pleasant, trilling melody that contributes to its character in its natural environment.
8. White-browed crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta leucophrys
The White-browed Crombec is a small, active bird found across Eastern and Southern Africa. It stands out with its distinctive white eyebrow stripe against a backdrop of gray and brown plumage, a feature that easily catches the observer’s eye. This species thrives in a variety of bushveld, woodland, and scrub habitats, showcasing its adaptability.
The White-browed Crombec is known for its agility, frequently seen darting through foliage in search of insects, its primary diet. Its song is a cheerful, melodious sequence of notes, adding a lively soundtrack to its environment
9. Red-faced crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta whytii
The Red-faced Crombec is a compact, almost tailless bird characterized by its rufous-colored face and underparts, paired with a gray back, which contributes to its distinct, unobstructed appearance. It predominantly occupies various savanna and woodland areas, with a particular affinity for Miombo woodlands in the southern reaches of its distribution.
This bird’s vocalizations are notable for their regional variation, ranging from a gentle warble to a more pronounced trill, alongside a distinctive, quick, and somewhat wooden-sounding call.
10. Somali crombec
Scientific Name: Sylvietta isabellin
The Somali Crombec is a small, desert-adapted bird endemic to the Horn of Africa, particularly Somalia, where it inhabits arid and semi-arid landscapes. Characterized by its sandy-brown plumage, this bird blends seamlessly into its desert surroundings, aiding in its camouflage. The Somali Crombec is distinguished by its long, curved bill, used effectively to forage for insects in the bark of trees and shrubs.
Mary is an outdoor enthusiast, nature lover, and amateur birdwatcher that enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences with others.