Swynnerton's Robin Swynnertonia swynnertoni Scientific name definitions

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

Diet and Foraging


Hops on the ground when foraging, vigorously tossing aside leaf litter with the bill (2). Sometimes attends swarms of army ants (Dorylus) (30), often several together, perching on a low vantage point and dropping on flushed prey (FPJ). At ant swarms it also hops on the ground picking insects off leaf litter and leaves of understory vegetation (FPJ).


Insects, especially beetles, make up the bulk of the food but spiders, small fruits, small frogs and snails also taken. Of 25 stomachs and 4 fecal samples from Chirinda Forest (Zimbabwe), 93% held beetles, 55% ants, 38% wasps, 21% caterpillars and moths, 21% bugs, 21% spiders, 17% flies, 10% orthopterans, termites, centipedes, woodlice, and small forest frogs (Arthroleptis xenodactyloides), and 10% small fruits (31).

In another study of 27 individuals collected by C. F. M. Swynnerton at Chirinda Forest, beetles were identified in 82% of the stomachs. Other food items included ants (26%), small grasshoppers (7%), Celtis gomphophylla berries (7%), and termites, millipedes and snails (32).

A dietary comparison with the sympatric and broadly similar White-starred Robin (Pogonocichla stellata) indicated that Swynnerton’s Robin foraged more on non-flying insects (31).

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