restricted access Bush-shrikes
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Black-crownedTchagra L: 21 cm (8") Tchagras are buff-brown bush-shrikes with strong, black bills, broad rufous wing panels and white-tipped dark tails . They favour low thickets and are most often seen as they fly between bushes . The head pattern is an important feature for identifying the two species in Kruger . The Black-crowned Tchagra is the larger of the two and has an all-black cap, a bold white line above a black eyestripe, and greyish underparts contrasting with rufous wings . It is a common and widespread resident in Kruger, although it favours the more open eastern sectors of the park over the dense thickets that predominate in the west . It occurs both on the ground and in trees in dry thornveld and broadleaved woodland, singing a wonderful up-and-down, whistled “whee-cheee-chooo-cheeera” but also gives other whistles and grating sounds . Black-backed Puffback L: 17 cm (6·5") A small, canopy-loving, black-and-white bush-shrike with a fiery-red eye . The fluffy white feathers on the rump of the male can be raised like a puffball when the bird is excited . The sexes also look different: the male has a clean-cut black cap and a white throat, while the female is greyer on the head with a white forehead and partial eyebrow giving it a pale and open face . This species is a common and widespread resident throughout Kruger, with a population estimated at more than 130,000 individuals . It is found in pairs in riverine forest and woodlands and often joins mixed-species flocks . It is readily detected by its characteristic call: a loud click, followed by a repeated down-slurred “wheeeoo” whistle . Bush-shrikes are small to medium-sized, strikingly coloured and patterned birds. They tend to creep stealthily through trees and bushes, although some species are more terrestrial, and have loud, distinctive vocalizations. Bush-shrikes: 1 male female black-backed puffback 132 Brown-crownedTchagra L: 17 cm (6·5") This species is smaller than Black-crowned Tchagra, has a black line above the white eyebrow, a brown central crown and buff underparts . It is a common and widespread resident in Kruger but prefers the dense thickets that predominate in the western half of the park . Brown-crowned Tchagra is more terrestrial than Black-crowned Tchagra, bouncing on the ground between thickets . It has a descending aerial display during which its wings flutter and make a “prrrrrp” rattling sound, before it sings a rapid series of 15–20 descending “chee-ree” notes as it returns to the ground . BIRDS OF BROADLEAVED WOODLAND AND CAMPS black-crowned tchagra brown-crowned tchagra 133 Brubru L: 13 cm (5") This small, tree-loving, mostly blackand -white bush-shrike has a strong chestnut stripe running from the shoulders to the flanks; males are more brightly coloured than females . Its larger size, white eyebrow and horizontal posture distinguish it from the similar Chinspot Batis (page 128) . The Brubru is a common resident throughout Kruger, favouring woodland, and joining mixed species flocks to hunt for insects . The call is remarkably like a telephone – a ringing, burry “preeeeee” – with some associated clicks and whistles . Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike L: 19 cm (7·5") This colourful bush-shrike is yellow and green with a bright orange chest . It is similar to the larger Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, but has a less robust bill and dark eyes . It also has prominent yellow eyebrows and a blackish patch in front of each eye . Juveniles also have a dark eye but lack the yellow eyebrows of the adult and have an all-greyish head . The Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike is a common and widespread resident in woodland throughout Kruger, creeping slowly through the midcanopy of trees, hunting insects and small vertebrates . It is often first detected by its loud, ringing “whatto -tooo-dooo” song and scolding “skeeeeet” calls and clicks . Bush-shrikes: 2 134 Grey-headed Bush-Shrike L: 26 cm (10") A striking, large and robust bush-shrike with a massive head and a chunky, hook-tipped bill . This species has a bright yellow eye and entirely grey head with pale lores (in front of the eye), differentiating it from the similar but daintier Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike . The shy Eastern Nicator (not illustrated) is similar in shape but can be distinguished by its green rather than grey head . The Grey-headed Bush-Shrike is a common and widespread resident in Kruger’s woodlands and riverine forests, but...