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BUSHSHRIKES

Order Passeriformes     Family Malaconotidae


The shrike families are: CampephagidaeLaniidaeMalaconotidae,  Prionopidae.

Bushshrikes are distantly related to the true shrikes of family Laniidae. The familiy includes the boubous, bushshrikes, gonaleks, puffbacks, tchagras.  They prey on insects and sometimes small vertibrates. They are found in bushes or dense foliage and thus are usually hard to spotl. The Bushshrikes are restricted to Africa.


Genus Dryoscopus
The male puffbacks puff out the loose feathers on their rump and lower back, to look almost ball-like.

Puffback, Black-backed  Dryoscopus cubla  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya   2, 5) Arno Meintjes  3, 4) Dick - South Africa
2) Juvenile



Puffback, Northern  Dryoscopus gambensis  Found: Africa (north of equator)
The male Northern Puffback has black cap, mantle; bill, tail; gray back with white whitish scapulars; white underparts; red eyes. Female has gray cap; tawny underparts; orange eyes.
Similar to: Pringle's Puffback. Northern Puffback has entirely black bill; Pringle's Puffback bill has pale area near the base.
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya
    3) Lazars  4) Francesco Veronesi - Uganda  5) JV Verde - Gambia
1) Female  2 - 5) Male



Puffback, Pink-footed  Dryoscopus angolensis  Found: central Africa
Image by: 1, 2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya 3) G E Lodge


Puffback, Pringle's  Dryoscopus pringlii  Found: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania.
The male Pringle's Puffback has black cap, mantle, tail; black bill with pale base; gray back with white whitish scapulars; white underparts; red eyes. Female brownish head; pale underparts; white eye-ring.
Similar to: Northern Puffback. Northern Puffback has entirely black bill; Pringle's Puffback bill has pale area near the base.
Image by: 1) Dave Curtis - Kenya


Puffback, Red-eyed  Dryoscopus senegalensis   Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Nic Burrow


Puffback, Sabine's  Dryoscopus sabini  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Francesco Veronesi - Ghana



Genus Laniarius
The species in this genus are called boubous, bushshrikes, and gonaleks.

Boubou, Ethiopian   Laniarius aethiopicus   Found: eastern Africa
The Ethiopian Boubou is also consider to be a subspecies of the Tropical Boubou.
Image by: 1) Julie Dewilde


Boubou, Fuelleborn's  Laniarius fuelleborni  Found: Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak


Boubou, Gabon  also  Swamp Boubou  Laniarius bicolor  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Otto Finsch and Hartlaub Gustav  2) Ian White - Botswana   3) Jerry Oldenettel - Botswana


Boubou, Mountain Sooty  Laniarius poensis  Found: Africa
Similara to: Lowland Sooty Boubou.
Image by: 1) Marcell Claassen


Boubou, Slate-coloured Laniarius funebris   Found: Africa
The Slate-coloured Boubou has a black head, wings; rest is slate-colored.
Image by: 1) Haplochromis  2, 3) Dick Daniels - Tanzania


Boubou, Somali  Laniarius erlangeri    Found: Somalia
The Somaili Boubou has mainly black upperparts, whitish underparts. A rare morph has black upperparts, yellow breast, white belly. This morph formerly called Bulo Burti  Boubou (Laniaius liberatus).
Similar to: Tropical Boubou. The Somali Boubou is smaller than Tropical Boubou and has less white on wings.
Image by: 1) Darren Nalsh  2) Shyamai
2) Bulo Burti Boubou


Boubou, Sooty  also Lowland Sooty Boubou  Laniarius leucorhynchus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Dave Curtis - Kenya


Boubou, Southern   Laniarius ferrugineus   Found: Africa
The Southern Boubou has black upperparts with white wing stripe; black bill, eyes, legs. Male underparts are white shading to rufous on the lower belly. Female underparts has rufous wash to breast.
Similar to: Tropical Boubou. Tropical Boubou has white underparts; Southern Boubou has some rufous on underparts.
Image by:  1) Ballacorkish   2) Cristiano Crolle -  Cape Peninsula, South Africa  3) Axel Bührmann  4) Paul Barnard 
1, 2) Female  4) Male


Boubou, Tropical Laniarius aethiopicus Found: Africa
The Tropical Boubou has black upperparts with white wing stripe; black bill, eyes, legs; white underparts. The Ethiopian Boubou is also consider to be a subspecies of the Tropical Boubou. The Zanzibar Boubou is also consider to be a subspecies of the Tropical Boubou.
Similar to: Southern Boubou. Tropical Boubou has white underparts; Southern Boubou has some rufous on underparts.
Similar to: Tropical Boubou. The Somali Boubou is smaller than Tropical Boubou and has less white on wings.
Image by: 1,  2,  3) Dick Daniels - Tanzania  4) Ken Clifton  5) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya



Boubou, Turati's  Laniarius turatii   Found: Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone
Image by: 1) Michael Andersen - Sierra Leone


Boubou, Yellow-breasted  Laniarius atroflavus  Found: Cameroon, Nigeria
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit   2) Ron Knight


Boubou, Zanzibar  Laniarius sublacteus   Found: Kenya, Somalia, Zanzibar (Tanzania)
The Zanzibar Boubou is also consider to be a subspecies of the Tropical Boubou.
Image by: 1) Peter Steward - Kenya


Bushshrike, Braun's also Orange-breasted Bushshrike  Laniarius brauni  Found: Africa
The Braun's Bushshrike has blue-gray mantle, crown; yellow forehead; black eye-patch; orange-yellow underparts.
Image by: 1) Robert Muckely  2) Lee Hunter


Bushshrike, Gabela Laniarius amboimensis  Found: Angola
Image by: 1) Fabio Olmos


Bushshrike, Luehder's  Laniarius luehderi  Found: Africa
The Luehder's Bushshrike has dark olive upperparts; orange crown, throat, breast; white belly
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Steve Garvie - Kenya  3) Pieter Verheij - Uganda


Bushshrike, Red-naped  Laniarius ruficeps  Found: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia
The Red-naped Bushshike has red nape, rear-crown; black fore-crown; white forehead, superciliium, mantle, underparts; black mask, tail; black wings with white stripe.
Image by: 1) Kristian Svennson - Ethiopia


Gonolek, Black-headed   Laniarius erythrogaster  Found: Africa
The Black-headed Gonolek has black upperparts, tail; red underparts; white eye-ring.
Similar to: Crimson-breasted Gonolek.  Black-headed Gonolek has white eye-ring; Crimson-breasted does not.
Similar to: Papyrus Gonolek.  Black-headed Gonolek has black head; Papyrus Gonoleck has yellow crown.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya
  2) Michael and Helen Cox   3) Dick Daniels - National Aviary 


Gonolek, Common
  also  Yellow-crowned Gonolek  Laniarius barbarus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1, 2) J Verde - Gambia  3) Gisela Braun - Gambia


Gonolek, Crimson-breasted  formerly known as Crimson-breasted Shrike   Laniarius atrococcineus  Found: Africa
Similar to: Black-headed Gonolek.  Black-headed Gonolek has white eye-ring; Crimson-breasted does not.
Image by:  1, 2) Derek Keats  3) Hans Hillewaert - Etosha National Park, Namibia  4) Cristiano Crolle - Kalahari desert, Namibia


Gonolek, Papyrus  Laniarius mufumbiri  Found: papyrus swamps of Africa
The Papyrus Gonolek has black upperparts, tail; yellow crown; red underparts; white eye-ring, wingbar..
Similar to: Black-headed Gonolek.  Black-headed Gonolek has black head; Papyrus Gonoleck has yellow crown.
Image by: 1) Henrik Gronvold  2) Francesco Veronesi - Uganda  3) David Cook - Uganda



Genus Malaconotus
The bushshrikes are found in Africa.

Bushshrike, Gray-headed  Malaconotus blanchoti  Found: Africa
The Gray-headed Bushshrike has a gray head; olive-green back; olive-green wings with white spots; chestnut breast; yellow eye; large black bill.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2, 3) Ian White - Botswana 4) Patty McGann - South Africa


Bushshrike, Fiery-breasted  Malaconotus cruentus  Found: Africa
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit


Bushshrike, Green-breasted  Malaconotus gladiator  Found: Cameroon, Nigeria
Image by: 1, 2) Paul Ellis


Bushshrike, Lagden's  Malaconotus lagdeni   Found: Africa
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans


Bushshrike, Monteiro's  Malaconotus monteiri  Found: Angola, Cameroon
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit


Bushshirke, Uluguru  Malaconotus alius  Found: Uluguru Mts. (central Tanzania)
The Uluguru Bushshrike has olive-green upperparts; black head; yellow underparts.
Image by: 1) sangeet hakadur



Genus Nilaus - 1 species

Brubru  Nilaus afer  Found: Africa (much of sub-Sharan)
The Brubru has black back with tawny stripe; black crown, eye-line; black tail with white tip; white supercilium, forehead; white underparts with rufous flanks.
Image by: 1) Jerry Friedmand  2) Steve Garvie - Kenya  3) Ian White - South Africa



Genus Rhodophoneus - 1 species

Bushshrike, Rosy-patched  Rhodophoneus cruentus  Found: Africa
The Rosy-patched Bushshrike has pinkish tan upperparts. Male has a red throat, breast stripe. Female has white throat.
Image by:  1, 2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  3) Carol Foil -  Samburu District, Kenya 4) Steve Garvie
1) Female  2, 3, 4) Male



Genus Tchagra
These African birds are long-tailed birds, typically with a gray or gray-brown back, brown wings and gray-and-whitish underparts. The head pattern is distinctive, with a dark cap and black eyestripe separated by a white supercilium. The bill is strong and hooked. They are typically of scrub, open woodland, semi-desert and cultivation in sub-Saharan Africa. They hunt large insects from a low perch in a bush, and the larger species will also take vertebrate prey such as frogs and snakes. These are solitary birds which tend to skulk low down or on the ground.

Tchagra, Black-crowned  also  Black-headed Bush-shrike  Tchagra senegala  Found: Africa
The Black-crowned Tchagra has brown back; rufous wings; black crown, eye-line, bill; white supercilium; gray underparts.
Similar to: Brown-crowned Tchagra. Black-crowned Tchagra has black crown; Brown-crowned Tchagra has brown crown.
Similar to: Marsh Tchagra. Black-crowned Tchagra has black crown bordered by white supercilium; Marsh Tchagra has black cap that extends below the eyes.
mage by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya 
  2) Carol Foil - Rift Valley, Kenya 3) Darren Bellerby - Kruger National Park, South Africa


Tchagra, Brown-crowned  Tchagra australis  Found: Africa
The Brown-crowned Tchagra has brown crown; black eye-line; white supercilium.
Similar to: Black-crowned Tchagra. Black-crowned Tchagra has black crown; Brown-crowned Tchagra has brown crown.
Image by:  1, 4) Ian White - Namibia  2, 3)  Carol Foil - Rift Valley, Kenya


Tchagra, Marsh  Tchagra minutus  Found: Africa
The Marsh Tchagra has a black cap that extends below the eyes; black 'V' on back; black tail; white collar.
Similar to: Black-crowned Tchagra. Black-crowned Tchagra has black crown bordered by white supercilium; Marsh Tchagra has black cap that extends below the eyes.
Image by: 1) Michael and Helen Cox  2) Ross Tsai - Ghana  2) Michael and Helen Cox


Tchagra, Southern Tchagra tchagra  Found: South Africa, Swaziland
The Southern Tchagra has pale brown upperparts; brown crown; white supercilium; black eye-stripe; pale gray underparts; chestnut wings; black tail tipped white; long black bill.
Image by: 1) Weeksy70


Tchagra, Three-streaked  Tchagra jamesi  Found: Africa
Three-streaked Tchagra has black eye-line, boarded above by off-white; black center-crown line.
Image by: 1, 2) Dave Curtis - Kenya



Genus Telophorus
These African species are sometimes placed in Chlorophoneus or in Malaconotus.

Bokmakierie  Telophorus zeylonus   Found: Africa 
The Bokmakierie has green upperparts; gray head, nape; yellow supercilium; yellow tipped tail; yellow underparts; black bib and border to its yellow throat.
Image by:  1) Rudolph Botha  2) Derek Keats  3) Dick Daniels - South Africa


Bushshrike, Black-fronted  Telophorus nigrifrons  southern and eastern Africa
The Black-fronted Bushshrike has green upperparts; gray crown, upper-back; yellow tip to tail; dark bill, legs. Orange morph has black mask, forehead;  orange underparts. Red morph similar but redder on throat, breast; yellow belly, under-tail coverts. Buff morph has buff underparts; pale throat. Black morph has entirely black face, forehead, throat, breast; green belly, under-tail coverts.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  3) John Gerrard Keulemans   3) Peter Steward - Kenya
1) Different color morphs


Bushshrike, Doherty's  Telophorus dohertyi  Found: Africa
The Doherty's Bushshrike has green upperparts; red forehead, throat; black band surrounds red throat continuing through eyes; yellow breast, belly. Yellow morph has yellow instead of red throat.
Similar to: Four-colored Bushshrike. Four-colored Bushshrike has yellow or orange supercilium; Doherty's Bushshrike has red forehead.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National   2) Peter Steward - Kenya  3) Aviceda - Uganda


Bushshrike, Four-colored  Telophorus viridis  Found: Africa
The Four-colored Bushshrike has green upperparts ; black band surrounds yellow throat continuing through eyes; yellow or orange forehead and superciliums. Male has black tail; female has green tail.
Similar to: Doherty's Bushshrike. Four-colored Bushshrike has yellow or orange supercilium; Doherty's Bushshrike has red forehead.
Image by: 1) John Gerrard Keulemans  2) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya


Bushshrike, Gray-green  also  Bocage's Bushshrike  Telophorus bocagei  Found: Africa
The Gray-green Bushshrike has gray-black upperparts, head; white supercilium, lores, throat, underparts
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Kristian Svennson - Uganda


Bushshrike, Many-colored  Telophorus multicolor  Found: Africa
The Many-colored Bushshrike has gray head with black mask which is continuous between eyes;  gray mantle; rest of uppeparts green; orange underparts; black under-tail with wide yellow tip.
Image by: 1) Lars Petersson
1) Female


Bushshrike, Mount Kupe  Telophorus kupeensis  Found: near Mount Kupe of Cameroon
Image by: 1) Nigel Voaden


Bushshrike, Olive  Telophorus olivaceus  Found: southern Africa
The Olive Bushshrike has green upperparts; gray head; cinnamon or yellow breast; yellow belly. Male has white supercilium; black mask.
Image by: 1) Alan Manson - South Africa


Bushshrike, Sulphur-breasted  also  Orange-breasted Bushshrike  Telophorus sulfureopectus  Found: Africa
The Sulphur-breasted Bushshrike has olive upperparts; gray crown, nape, cheeks; black mask; yellow supercilium, throat, underparts.
Image by:  1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) B Attard - South Africa  3) Derek Keats - South Africa





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