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Crimson-breasted Shrike | Laniarius atrococcineus

The Crimson-breasted Shrike is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Malaconotidae bird family group which includes birds such as Bush-shrikes, Puffbacks, Tchagras, Boubous, Helment-shrikes, Batises, Wattle-eyes.

The description for the Crimson-breasted Shrike (Latin name Laniarius atrococcineus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Laniarius atrococcineus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 739 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 699. You will find a picture of the Crimson-breasted Shrike on page 752.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Crimson-breasted Boubou in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Crimson-breasted Shrike between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Crimson-breasted Shrike is known in Afrikaans as Rooiborslaksman.

The Crimson-breasted Shrike is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Laniarius atrococcineus can be found in other parts of the world.

The Crimson-breasted Shrike has a height of 22 cms and weighs around 50 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Laniarius atrococcineus has a grey coloured throat, orange legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are red.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black

Eyes are red

Bill is black

Legs are orange

Throat is grey

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Crimson-breasted Shrike is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Crimson-breasted Shrike is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 3 eggs and they are coloured white, red.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Crimson-breasted Shrike is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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