White-crested Helmetshrike

Prionops plumatus

I always enjoy bumping into these colourful characters. Their peculiar looks and comical behaviour make them fun to watch and great to photograph.

They are also interesting for the fact that they are cooperative breeders; with an “alpha pair” in the group bonding for life. The “chosen” pair gets to choose the nest site, but all group participants get to look after the nest, which is made of bark and held together by spider webs. And this is where their tufted foreheads, after which they are named, come into play, as not only do they given them a comical appearance but they also serve as a great means of collecting spider webs. Nature is awesome!

We first recorded this cool species in April 2010 while visiting Kloofwaters (in the Magaliesburg) with Richard Douglas.


White-crested Helmetshrike / Mkhuze Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / September 2020 White-crested Helmetshrike / Mkhuze Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / September 2020 White-crested Helmetshrike / Mkhuze Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / September 2020 White-crested Helmetshrike / Coutada 12, Mozambique / October 2015 White-crested Helmet-shrike (Talacoma) / Halali, Northern Namibia White-crested Helmet-shrike / Lindani Game Lodge, Waterberg, South Africa White-crested Helmetshrike / Near Benoue National Park, Cameroon / February 2017 White-crested Helmet-shrike / Bonamanzi Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 23 March 2014 White-crested Helmet-shrike (Talacoma) / Mkuze Falls Game Reserve, South Africa White-crested Helmet-shrike / Bonamanzi Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 23 March 2014 White-crested Helmet-shrike / Halali, Northern Namibia White-crested Helmetshrike / Coutada 12, Mozambique / October 2015 White-crested Helmet-shrike / Bonamanzi Game Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / 23 March 2014 White-crested Helmet-shrike / Mkuze Falls Game Reserve, South Africa White-crested Helmet-shrike / Tsavo West National Park, Kenya
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