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the web of life in southern Africa

Batis soror (Pale batis, Mozambique batis) 

Mosambiekbosbontrokkie [Afrikaans]; Acacia-vliegenvanger [Dutch]; Pririt pâle [French]; Sansibarschnäpper [German]; Batis de Moçambique [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 soror (Pale batis, Mozambique batis)   

Pale batis, Arabuko-Sokoke forest, Kenya. [photo Steve Garvie ©]


Distribution and habitat

It occurs from Kenya and Tanzania through Malawi to Mozambique. Here it is locally common, preferring Miombo (Brachystegia) as well as other broad-leaved woodlands, such as Mopane woodland.

Distribution of Pale 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).


Little is known about its feeding habits other than that it forages for insects by gleaning them from leaves and branches.


  • The nest is a small, deep cup built of thin strips of bushwillow (Combretum) bark and bits of glass inflorescences, cemented with spider web. It is usually placed in the fork of a branch at least 6 metres above ground.
  • It lays about 1-2 eggs, usually during the months of September-November.
  • Little more is known about its breeding habits, as this has not been well studied.


Not threatened, although habitat destruction in southern Mozambique may be cause for concern.


  • 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.