White-crested Helmet-Shrike ( Prionops plumatus, family: Malaconotidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called White Helmet-Shrike

white crested helmet shrike kruger national park birds The White-crested Helmet-Shrike (Latin name Prionops plumatus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 753 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 707 also a picture of the White-crested Helmet-Shrike on page 721. The White-crested Helmet-Shrike belongs to the family of birds classified as Malaconotidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the White-crested Helmet-Shrike is also known by these other names: Helmetshrike, Long-crested Helmet-Shrike, Straight-crested Helmet-Shrike.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the White-crested Helmet-Shrike was called the White Helmet-Shrike

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The White-crested Helmet-Shrike is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the White-crested Helmet-Shrike in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. White-crested Helmet-Shrike : see above distribution map.

The White-crested Helmet-Shrike.

White Crowned Helmet Shrike Kruger ParkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The White-crested Helmet-Shrike is an extremely small bird about half the size of a house sparrow. The height of the White-crested Helmet-Shrike is about 19 cms and its weight is about 33 gms

The male and female White-crested Helmet-Shrike have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is grey.
  • Eye is yellow.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is grey.
  • Legs are orange.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The White-crested Helmet-Shrike feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The White-crested Helmet-Shrike is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Prionops plumatus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of White-crested Helmet-Shrike is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are blue in colour and number between 2 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for White-crested Helmet-Shrike are: woodlands . The White-crested Helmet-Shrike is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the White-crested Helmet-Shrike in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... iPhemvu/uThimbakazane

Afrikaans ...Withelmlaksman

German ... Brillenwrger

Portuguese ... Atacador-de-poupa-branca

French ... Bagadais casqu

Dutch ... Helmklauwier

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 753

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za