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Camaroptera brevicaudata (Grey-backed camaroptera) 

Grysrugkwêkwêvoël [Afrikaans]; Blaatcamaroptera [Dutch]; Camaroptère à dos gris [French]; Graurücken-grasmücke [German]

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: Cisticolidae > Genus: Cameroptera

Camaroptera brevicaudata (Grey-backed camaroptera)  Camaroptera brevicaudata (Grey-backed camaroptera) 
Grey-backed camaroptera, Nylsvlei, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©] Grey-backed camaroptera, Waterberg, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

It occurs across much of sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Ethiopia south to southern Africa. Here it is common  from Namibia, northern and south-eastern Botswana to Zimbabwe, central Mozambique, Limpopo Province, North-West Province and Gauteng. It generally prefers thickets and riverine bush in savanna woodland, also along the edge of forest patches and in parks and gardens.

Predators and parasites

It has been recorded as prey of the following birds:

Brood parasites

It has been recorded as host of the Brown-backed honeyguide.


It mainly eats invertebrates, doing most of its foraging in the undergrowth, gleaning prey from leaves and stems. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is a ball shape with an entrance on the side towards the top, with the outside made of sewn together living leaves and the inside lined with finer material. It is smaller and more thin-walled then the nest of its close relative, the Green-backed camaroptera. It is typically concealed in a shrub, herb, small bush or low down in a tree's foliage, but usually very near to the ground.
  • Egg-laying season is from October-April, peaking around November-December.
  • It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated for about 13-15 days.
  • The chicks stay in the nest for about 13-15 days, after which it leaves (before being able to fly). Before fledging full it follows its parents around through the undergrowth.


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.