Grey-headed Bushshrike

Malaconotus blanchoti

This locally common resident of acacia and mature broadleafed woodland is the largest bush-shrike in our region and is known as the “Ghostbird” because of its mournful, drawn out call. Its large size, grey head, massive bill and yellow eyes make it easy to distinguish in the field.

My first sighting of this large bush-shrike (in March 2010) was also one of my best. I was taking a very early morning walk at our parent’s house in Ocean View (near Pennington on the south coast of  KwaZulu Natal) when I noticed a large shrike sunning itself just outside the garden’s external fence. Awesome! My best sighting and photographs to date, however, took place at Kololo Game Reserve in the Waterberg.


Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bush-shrike (Extremus) / Ocean View, South Coast, KZN, South Africa / 22 September 2011 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Kololo Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / 11 August 2013 Grey-headed Bushshrike / Mabula Game Reserve, Waterberg, South Africa / January 2015
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