Retz's Helmet-Shrike ( Prionops retzii, family: Malaconotidae)

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

retzs helmet shrike kruger national park birds The Retz's Helmet-Shrike (Latin name Prionops retzii) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 754 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 709 also a picture of the Retz's Helmet-Shrike on page 721. The Retz's Helmet-Shrike belongs to the family of birds classified as Malaconotidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Retz's Helmet-Shrike is also known by these other names: Retz's Red-billed Shrike, Retz's Red-billed Helmet-Shrike, Black Helmet-Shrike.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Retz's Helmet-Shrike was called the Red-billed 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 Retz's 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 Retz's Helmet-Shrike in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Retz's Helmet-Shrike : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Retz's Helmet-Shrike is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The height of the Retz's Helmet-Shrike is about 23 cms and its weight is about 44 gms

The male and female Retz's Helmet-Shrike have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is blue, black.
  • Eye is orange.
  • Bill is crimson.
  • Throat is blue, black.
  • Back is blue, black.
  • Legs are orange.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Retz's Helmet-Shrike feeds on the ground and in foliage



Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Retz's Helmet-Shrike is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Prionops retzii will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Retz's Helmet-Shrike is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are grey in colour and number between 3 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

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

You will normally see the Retz's Helmet-Shrike in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Swarthelmlaksman

German ... Dreifarbenwrger, Dreifarb-Brillenwrger

Portuguese ... Atacador-de-poupa-preta

French ... Bagadais de Retz

Dutch ... Retz-Klauwier

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 754

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 ,