Swynnerton's Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni Scientific name definitions

Flemming P. Jensen
Version: 2.0 — Published February 4, 2022



Generally solitary outside the breeding period. Rarely more than 2 m above the forest floor; usually keeps in deep shade and most often seen on the ground or on fallen logs (1), sometimes just above the ground on small branches (24). When hopping the tail is often held elevated in a 45-degree angle, exposing white undertail coverts. Often very elusive and heard more often than seen (24), but sometimes adapts to human presence and allows close approach in dry season, outside the breeding period (1).

Agonistic Behavior

Territorial encounters include puffing out the chest, showing the black and white collar (1).

Sexual Behavior

Mating System and Sex Ratio

A behaviorally monogamous, territorial, and solitary breeder. Capture data from throughout the year in Zimbabwe suggests a male-biased sex ratio among adults, with 101 males and 42 females recorded from Bvumba Highlands (1) and 87 males and 59 females caught and measured in the Eastern Highland (3). However, since most adult males are resident and remain in the breeding territory all year while some females leave the territory in the non-breeding period (3), the biased sex ratio could be explained by some females dispersing into neighboring areas and not being captured during part of the year.

Courtship, Copulation, and Pair Bond

Little information. A ringing study in Zimbabwe suggested that pairs probably remain together for life, since 4 pairs were repeatedly recaptured, each in its own territory, over periods of 3–8 years (3).

Extra-Pair Mating Behavior/Paternity

No information.

Social and Interspecific Behavior

Generally solitary outside the breeding period, but several may occur together at army-ant swarms. Occasionally noted on the ground within mixed-species flocks (33, 34).


No information.

Recommended Citation

Jensen, F. P. (2022). Swynnerton's Robin (Swynnertonia swynnertoni), 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.swyrob1.02