African Tailorbird Artisornis metopias Scientific name definitions

Flemming P. Jensen and Peter F. D. Boesman
Version: 2.0 — Published December 23, 2022



Breeding habits of the African Tailorbird are poorly known, but it is highly territorial and believed to be a monogamous and solitary breeder. Breeding has been recorded during the rainy season, with egg laying from December to February. The nest is ca. 0.5 m above the ground. The outside is a pouch of hanging leaves sewn together with plant fibers, and the inside is a delicate cup of lichen fragments, bound with spider web. The clutch includes two eggs, but nothing is known about incubation or parental care.


Breeding has been recorded during the rainy season, with egg laying from early December to late February (13, 48).

Nest Site

Three nests (one in the Uluguru Mountains and two in the West Usambara Mountains) were all approximately 0.5 m above the ground and sewn between the jagged leaves of the same species of a low plant (13).


The delicate nest pouch of drooping leaves is sewn together with long threads of yellow-green, moss-like silk, through holes pierced along the edges of the leaves (11).

The nest inside the pouch is a delicate little cup of fragments of lichen, bound together with spider web, lined with fine strands of hair-like fungal mycelia (11). Cup measurements: internal diameter 40 mm; internal depth 26 mm; external diameter 65 mm; external depth 76 mm (11).


The clutch size is two eggs. The eggs are fairly large relative to body size (no measurements available), oval, and slightly narrowed towards one end. The color is white, with dark red-brown marks spread over the entire surface, and with some pale grayish marks in between (13).


Information needed.


Information needed.

Young Birds

Information needed.

Parental Care

Information needed.

Cooperative Breeding

Not reported.

Brood Parasitism by Other Species

Information needed.

Fledgling Stage

Information needed.

Immature Stage

Information needed.

Recommended Citation

Jensen, F. P. and P. F. D. Boesman (2022). African Tailorbird (Artisornis metopias), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.afrtai2.02