Hyliota australis (Southern hyliota, Mashona hyliota) 

Mashonahyliota [Afrikaans]; Mashona-hyliota [Dutch]; Hyliote australe [French]; Maschona-hyliota [German]; Papa-moscas-austral [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Sylviidae > Genus: Hyliota

Distribution and habitat

Although it has two isolated populations in Kenya and Tanzania, the bulk of its population lies in patches from Angola and Zambia to southern Africa. Here it is generally uncommon, occurring across much of Zimbabwe extending into central and southern Mozambique. It prefers miombo (Brachystegia) woodland, especially Mountain-acacia (Brachystegia glaucescens) woodland on hillsides but less common in riverine Ana-tree (Faidherbia albida)woodland.

Distribution of Southern hyliota in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project ( Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).

Movements and migrations

In Zimbabwe it is short distance migrant, in Winter heading to lower altitudes in the south-eastern lowveld and Kariba Basin.


It mainly eats insects, doing most of its foraging in the woodland canopy, gleaning prey from leaves and branches. It regularly joins mixed species foraging flocks, along with passerines such as Green-capped eremomelas, Brubrus and Spotted Creepers.


  • Monogamous, strongly territorial solitary nester; nests are widely spaced and defended by the male, who chases away any other species in his territory.
  • The nest is a small, thick-walled cup built of bark shreds, lichen and moth egg cases, lined with grass and other soft plant fibres. It is typically bound with spider web to a fork in the tree canopy, 4-12 m (usually 7-8 m) above ground.
  • Egg-laying season in Zimbabwe is from September-March, peaking from September-November.
  • It lays 2-4 creamy white or pinkish eggs.


Not threatened, although destruction of miombo (Brachystegia) woodland in Zimbabwe has caused fragmentation of its distribution.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. .


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