The Black-crowned Tchagra is a shy bird of the shrike-family that inhabits wetter savanna and woodland-type habitats and feeds mainly on insects and other small prey, which occasionally includes lizards, snakes and frogs. They are also quick to utilise well-planted parks and gardens.
Black-crowned Tchagras form monogamous, territorial pairs, nesting in cup-shaped constructions they build together in bushes and trees during an extended breeding season that spans most of spring, summer and autumn. The female takes most of the responsibility for incubating the clutch of 1-4 eggs over a two-week period, with the chicks fledging when only two weeks old but staying with their parents for quite some time after. Fully grown Black-crowned Tchagras weigh around 50g and measure about 21cm in length.
In South Africa, Black-crowned Tchagras are found from the Eastern Cape, through most of Kwazulu-Natal and into Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng and North West. They’re also widely distributed over sub-Saharan Africa, with isolated populations along the Barbary Coast of North Africa and the southern reaches of the Arabian Peninsula. The IUCN lists the species as being of least concern.