Batis (bird)

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Woodwards Batis (Batis fratrum).jpg
Woodward's batis, Batis fratrum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Platysteiridae
Genus: Batis
F. Boie, 1833

See text

Batis (pronounced BAT-iss) is a genus of passerine birds in the wattle-eye family. Its species are resident in Africa south of the Sahara. They were previously classed as a subfamily of the Old World flycatcher family, Muscicapidae.

They are small stout insect-eating birds, usually found in open forests or bush. The nest is a small neat cup low in a tree or bush. They hunt by flycatching, or by taking prey from the ground like a shrike.

Batis species are strikingly patterned, typically with a grey crown, black eye mask, dark back, and paler underparts, often with a coloured or black breast band and white on the throat which contrasts strongly with the black eye stripe. Male and female plumages usually differ.

The song is typically a descending triple whistle.


The genus Batis was introduced by the German zoologist Friedrich Boie in 1833.[1] The type species was subsequently designated as the Cape batis.[2] The name of the genus is from the Ancient Greek batis, batidos, a unidentified worm-eating bird mentioned by Aristole.[3]

The genus contains 19 species.[4]


  1. ^ Boie, Friedrich (1833). "Fernere Vemertungen über Classification der Vögel". Isis von Oken (in German). 26. Col 876-884 [880]. 
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Cottrell, G. William, eds. (1986). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 11. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 378. 
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E., eds. "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 24 June 2018. 
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Batises, woodshrikes, bushshrikes, vangas". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 21 June 2018.