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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 17:30 EDT

Black-crowned Tchagra

Black-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra senegala) is a bushshrike in the family Malaconotidae. This family of passerine birds is closely related to the true shrikes in the family Laniidae, and were once included in that group.

This species can be found in the Arabian Peninsula as well as most of Africa where it prefers scrub, open woodland, semi-desert and cultivated areas. It lays two or three eggs in a cup nest in a tree or bush.

Similar to shrikes, this bird hunts insects and other small prey from a perch in a bush, although it sits less conspicuously than true shrikes.

Black-crowned Tchagra is a colorful and unmistakable species with its black crown and eye stripes separated by a broad white supercilium. The underparts are pale grey and the upperparts pale brown. The folded wings are chestnut and the tail is black, tipped white. The bill is black.

Sexes are similar, but juveniles have a brown cap and a pale yellow bill.

Black-crowned Tchagra has a descending whistling song, Chee-chee chee cheroo cheroo, and can be readily tempted in to sight by imitating this call, presumably because the bird is concerned that there is an intruder in its territory. The male also has a switchback display flight.

Black-crowned Tchagra