Crimson Breasted Shrike

Scientific Name:
Laniarius atrococcineus
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Crimson Breasted Shrike

The Crimson-breasted Shrike (Laniarius atrococcineus), also known as the Crimson-breasted Gonolek, is a striking bird species native to sub-Saharan Africa.


Crimson-breasted Shrikes are typically found in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, savannas, scrublands, and semi-arid areas. They prefer areas with dense shrubbery, thorny vegetation, and scattered trees, where they can forage for insects and small vertebrates. These shrikes are often seen in both natural and human-modified landscapes, including parks, gardens, and agricultural areas.


Crimson-breasted Shrikes are medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 20 to 25 centimeters (8 to 10 inches) in length. They have a robust build with a relatively long tail, a hooked bill, and a distinctive crimson-red breast and belly, which contrasts with their black and white plumage. Their wings and back are predominantly black with white markings, and they have a black mask around the eyes. Best Viewing The best places to view Crimson-breasted Shrikes are in wooded and shrubby habitats within their range. Look for them in areas with dense vegetation, including woodlands, savannas, and scrublands, where they are commonly found. These shrikes are often seen perched on tree branches or shrubs, where they scan for prey and occasionally call to each other.