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Batis fratrum (Woodwards' batis) 

Woodwardse bosbontrokkie [Afrikaans]; Woodward-vliegenvanger [Dutch]; Pririt de Woodward [French]; Woodwardschnäpper [German]; Batis de Woodward [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: Malaconotidae

Batis fratrum (Woodwards' batis)   

Woodward's batis female, Cape Vidal, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa. [photo Alan Manson ©]


For information about this species, see www.birdforum.net/opus/Woodward's_Batis

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa, with populations scattered across Mozambique bordering on Zimbabwe and north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal. It generally prefers lowland and evergreen forest, as well as dense Acacia woodland, sand forest, riparian forest and miombo (Brachystegia) woodland.

Distribution of Woodwards' batis 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). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  


It forages relentlessly throughout the day, catching insects by gleaning them of twigs, leaves and branches, usually while hovering in mid-air.


  • The nest is a loosely-constructed shallow cup, made of rootlets, tendrils, fragments of dead leaves and sometimes lichen, bound together with strands of spider web. It is usually placed amongst creepers or leaves, rarely in a tree fork.
  • Egg-laying season is from October-November.
  • It lays 1-3 eggs, which are probably incubated solely by the female.


Not threatened.


  • 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.