Green-backed Camaroptera

(Camaroptera brachyura)


The green-backed camaroptera (Camaroptera brachyura), or bleating bush warbler, is a small bird closely related to cisticolas. It is a widespread and common breeder along the southeast coast of Africa. It is only 11.5 cm (4.5 in) long with a green back, olive wings and light grey underparts. Both sexes are similar. Juveniles are smaller with a pale-yellow chest. It is very similar to the grey-backed camaroptera (Camaroptera brevicaudata) which is grey all over and only green on wings and tail. The two species are by many considered to be the same species, the bleating camaroptera, but different subspecies.

Diet & habitat

The green-backed camaroptera is often found in dense cover not too far from the ground. It prefers moist bush near watercourses in savanna woodland. It is also found along forest edges, gardens, and parks. It mainly feeds on invertebrates in low understory bushes and branches in dense cover. It is not uncommon to see it close to humans and other larger animals as it will try to catch disturbed prey.


Both sexes will build a nest. By using leaves attached with spider webs and grass they will shape the nest into a little ball. The nest is often built on a patch of grass, in a shrub or sapling at either ground level or up to two meters, with up to six meters on rare occasions. They lay their eggs in the period September-February with a peak season from October-December. 2-4 eggs are laid and incubated for 14-15 days. When hatched the chick are fed by both parents before they leave the nest after about 14-15 days.


Green-backed camaroptera is common within its distribution and is not threatened. It does better in pristine habitat than in disturbed. Together with the grey-backed camaroptera it is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.


Click the markers on the map to see my observations of this species

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