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the web of life in southern Africa

Parisoma subcaeruleum (Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Tit-babbler) 

Bosveldtjeriktik [Afrikaans]; Kaapse meeszanger [Dutch]; Parisome grignette [French]; Meisensänger [German]; Felosa-chapim-dos-bosques [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: Parisoma

Parisoma subcaeruleum (Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Tit-babbler
Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Koeberg Nature Reserve, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]
Parisoma subcaeruleum (Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Tit-babbler) Parisoma subcaeruleum (Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Tit-babbler)
Chestnut-vented tit-babbler. [photo Neil Gray ©] Chestnut-vented tit-babbler. [photo Neil Gray ©]

Distribution and habitat

It occurs from Angola south to southern Africa, where it is common across much of the region, excluding Mozambique and parts of Zimbabwe and eastern South Africa. It generally prefers savanna woodland along drainage lines, edges of thickets and bush-strewn hillsides and gardens within rural villages.

Distribution of Chestnut-vented tit-babbler 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.  

Brood parasites

It has been recorded as host of the Diderick cuckoo and Jacobin cuckoo.


It mainly eats insects gleaned from branches, supplemented with fruit. It is an agile foraging, rapidly moving through foliage in search prey and occasionally hawking termite alates. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is a thin-walled cup built of dry grass, rootlets and strips of silk bark, secured with spider web. It is typically placed in the branches of a bush or small tree, occasionally in mistletoe.
Parisoma subcaeruleum (Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Tit-babbler)   

Chestnut-vented tit-babbler nest with eggs, Sericea farm, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]

  • It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 13-16 days.
  • The chicks are cared for by both parents, leaving the nest after about 14-15 days.W


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.