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the web of life in southern Africa

Chloropeta natalensis (Dark-capped yellow warbler, African yellow warbler) 

Geelsanger [Afrikaans]; Gele rietzanger [Dutch]; Chloropète jaune [French]; Schnäpperrohrsänger [German]; Felosa-amarela-africana [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

Chloropeta natalensis (Dark-capped yellow warbler, African yellow warbler)   

Dark-capped yellow warbler, South Africa. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©]



For information about this species, see http://www.birdforum.net/opus/African_Yellow_Warbler

Distribution and habitat

It occurs disjunctly from Nigeria east to Ethiopia, south through eastern DRC, Angola and Zambia to southern Africa. Here it is locally common in dense, moist vegetation along watercourses, also occurring along the edge of reedbeds and forests.

Distribution of Dark-capped yellow warbler 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 typically forages low down in the dense thicket that characterises its preferred habitat, gleaning invertebrates such as caterpillars from leaves and branches. It also hawks termite alates, returning to a perch after catching them to feed on its prey.


  • The nest (see images below) is a neat cup built with grass, typically placed between upright stems or in the fork of bush, such as wild dagga (Leonotis) and fireweeds (incl. Conyza and Epilobium).
Chloropeta natalensis (Dark-capped yellow warbler, African yellow warbler)  Chloropeta natalensis (Dark-capped yellow warbler, African yellow warbler)
Dark-capped yellow warbler at its nest, South Africa. [photo Johann Grobbelaar ©] Dark-capped yellow warbler at its nest with chicks, Wakkerstroom, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]
  • Egg-laying season is from September-March.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated mainly by the female for roughly 12 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents but mainly the female, leaving the nest after about 14-16 days, becoming independent about a month later.


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. 

  • Harrison, J.A., Allan, D.G., Underhill, L.G., Herremans, M., Tree. A.J., Parker, V. & Brown, C.J. (eds). 1997. The atlas of southern African birds. Vol. 2: Passerines. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.