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Grey-headed Bush-Shrike | Malaconotus blanchoti

The Grey-headed Bush-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 Grey-headed Bush-Shrike (Latin name Malaconotus blanchoti) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Malaconotus blanchoti can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 751 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 706. You will find a picture of the Grey-headed Bush-Shrike on page 721.

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.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Grey-headed Bush-Shrike between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Grey-headed Bush-Shrike is known in Afrikaans as Spookvo?l.

The Grey-headed Bush-Shrike has a height of 26 cms and weighs around 77 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Malaconotus blanchoti has a white, grey coloured throat, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are chestnut.

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 grey

Eyes are chestnut

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is white, grey

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

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 Grey-headed Bush-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 green.

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

The Grey-headed Bush-Shrike is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

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

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 Grey-headed Bush-Shrike is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

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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