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Black-crowned Tchagra - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Steve G
Brufut Community Woodland, Western Division, The Gambia, March 2005
Tchagra senegalus

Tchagra senegala


Subspecies armenus
Photo © by volker sthamer
Buhoma, Uganda, July 2018

19·5–23 cm (7¾-9 in)
They have a mean-looking hooked beak, typical of the Bushshrikes and the same furtive habits.

  • Black crown and eye stripe
  • Broad white supercilium
  • Pale grey underparts
  • Light brown upperparts
  • Chestnut wings
  • Black tail, tipped white
  • Black bill

Sexes are similar

Young birds have a brown cap and a pale yellow bill.


Size, colour of the back, underparts, eyestripe vary according to the subspecies.


Africa and the Middle East
Northern Africa: Morocco, Algeria Tunisia, Libya
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin Nigeria, Niger Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, eSwatini
Middle East: Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia Yemen, Oman



There are 10 subspecies[1]: which vary in size and the colour of the back, underparts and eyestripe.


They are to be found in a wide variety of grassland with bushes. Bushy farm tracks, thickets in wetland areas and dry country. Light savannah woodland.



Their diet consists mostly of insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, beetles and their larvae.


They build a cup shaped nest in a tree or bush. The clutch contains 2-3 heavily marked white eggs. Incubation (mostly by the female) takes 12-15 days; the chicks fledging after a further 15 days.


Song: descending whistling, Chee-chee chee cheroo cheroo.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. BF Member observations
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved December 2018)

Recommended Citation

External Links

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