The long-billed crombec or Cape crombec is a small, nearly tailless bird 12 cm long and weighing around 16 g. Its upperparts are brownish grey-brown, and there is a pale grey supercilium, separated from the whitish throat by a dark eye stripe. The whitish breast shades into the buff belly. The long slightly curved bill is blackish. The sexes are similar, and the juvenile resembles the adult. This bird is usually seen alone, in pairs, or in family groups as it forages methodically from the bottom to the top of bushes and trees for insects and grass seeds. It will join mixed-species feeding flocks. It moves between trees with a bouncy flight.

Habitat and Distribution

This is a common species in fynbos, open woodland, savannah and dry Acacia scrub. breeds in southern Africa from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia and Tanzania southwards to South Africa.


They feed on insects.


The long-billed crombec's nest is a large, hanging bag of grasses, spider webs, and plant fibres, which is attached to the lower limbs of a tree, often an Acacia. The one to three white eggs are incubated for two weeks to hatching, and the chicks are fed by both parents for another two weeks to fledging. This territorial species is monogamous, pairing for life.

Calls and Songs

The call is a variable series of trilled notes including trreee-rriiit trreee-rriiit and a harsh pttt.