Northern White-crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus rueppelli)

The Northern White-crowned Shrike is a small, 8" (21cm) stocky bird with a bright-white crown, contrasting with its jet-black eye-stripe, cheeks and bill. The stripe joins with a black nape that joins the dark brown back, wings and tail. White upper tail coverts (on top of the tail region) are sometimes seen perched, but always in flight. Underparts are white, with rufous wash on the sides. Legs and feet are greyish-black.

The Northern White-crowned Shrike is a sociable bird, often seen in small family groups. Their cup-shaped nest is made from grass, interwoven with spiders webs and placed in a tree-fork high above the ground. An average of three blotchy eggs are laid. The Northern White-crowned Shrike is a family-orientated species, with fledglings assisting with the feeding of the next brood - known as 'cooperative breeding'.

Northern White-crowned Shrikes eat insects, particularly Grasshoppers. They also take small Lizards, Frogs, Mice and even fledglings.

Northern White-crowned Shrikes are seen all over Kenya, except in the Lake Victoria area or coastal regions. They prefer Commifora Thorn bushes, below 1,600 metres.

Extra Northern White-crowned Shrike Facts
The Northern White-crowned Shrikes are very voluble birds and groups chatter with varying notes of "weerer~Wok" or a nasal "kak~kak".
Northern White-crowned Shrikes were scientifically named in honour of a German naturalist, Wilhelm Peter Eduard Simon Rüppell (1794-1884). In 1830 he became the first explorer to traverse Ethiopia.

Photographed in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy, bordering Mara GR.

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Keywords:bird, kenya, northern white-crowned shrike, shrike, wildlife

Northern White-crowned Shrike ~ In Cammifora

Northern White-crowned Shrike perched in a Commifora Thorn Bush in Kenya.

Northern White-crowned Shrike ~ On Branch

Northern White-crowned Shrike perched on a branch, trying to spot insects on the ground.

Northern White-crowned Shrikes ~ Squabbling

Two Northern White-crowned Shrikes squabbling on top of a Commifora Bush.

Northern White-crowned Shrike ~ in Thorn Bush

A Northern White-crowned Shrike, perched in a Thorn Tree, looking over its shoulder.