White-crested Helmet-Shrike | Prionops plumatus
The White-crested Helmet-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 White-crested Helmet-Shrike (Latin name Prionops plumatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Prionops plumatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 753 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 707. You will find a picture of the White-crested Helmet-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.
This bird is known as White Helmet-Shrike in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the White-crested Helmet-Shrike between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The White-crested Helmet-Shrike is known in Afrikaans as Withelmlaksman.
The White-crested Helmet-Shrike has a height of 19 cms and weighs around 33 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Prionops plumatus has a white coloured throat, orange legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are yellow.
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 yellow
Bill is black
Legs are orange
Throat is white
Back is grey
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
The Prionops plumatus attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten
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 White-crested Helmet-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 5 eggs and they are coloured blue.
The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.
The White-crested Helmet-Shrike is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.
The bird is found in the African bushveld
This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
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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