Advertising opportunities on Bluegnu

The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Grey-headed Bush-shrike

Afrikaans name: Spookvoel

Eating an insect that it has just caught

Grey-headed Bush-shrike

Photo © Steven Herbert

Malaconotus blanchoti

I love the Afrikaans name of Spookvoel for this beautiful bird. It means "ghost bird" and refers to its mournful call which can often be heard and yet you can't see the bird responsible for it.

The Grey-headed Bush-shrike, like the other Bush-shrikes, is both colourful and elusive. It's hard to believe that these colourful birds can be so difficult to spot. They do, however, prefer thick bush and trees where they look for insects on the branches and leaves.

They are found over most of the eastern half of South Africa and much of sub-Saharan Africa.

Although these birds eat a lot of insects they are ferocious hunters for their size and have been known to kill snakes up to a metre in length. Other species of birds are also on their menu.

Between 2 and 4 eggs are laid in a nest made by the female who uses materials collected by the male. The nest is normally placed a few metres off the ground in a tree.

Top

References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 270

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 50

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 50

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 194

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 236

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 72

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 190

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 72

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 282

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 380

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 380

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 307

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 502

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 514

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 660

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 658

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 362

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 398

Shrikes of Southern Africa - Author: Tony Harris and Graeme Arnott - Year Published: - Page: 112

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 83

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 172

List of South African Birds

Got a comment about the content on this page?





Visit our sister site Nature on your doorstep

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2021. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use