Tag Archives: White-crested Helmetshrike

White-crested Helmetshrike

Prionops plumatus

The very active and gregarious White-crested Helmetshrike occurs commonly in savanna and woodland habitats from northern Kwazulu-Natal through Mpumalanga and Limpopo to Gauteng and North West, and north of our borders can be found throughout central, east and west Africa. It is listed as being of least concern by the IUCN.

White-crested Helmetshrikes breed in territorial groups numbering 3-10 individuals, their peak egg-laying season being spring and early summer. There is a strict hierarchy within the group, and all members assist in the rearing of the 2-5 chicks, though the dominant pair takes care of the construction of the nest, which is a compact cup made of plant material and spider web. The eggs are incubated for 3 weeks and the chicks leave the nest about the same period of time after hatching, though group members will keep feeding them until they’re over two months old. Outside the breeding season groups often join up to form larger flocks of 20 or more, and often join mixed bird parties as they move quickly from tree to tree.

Adult White-crested Helmetshrikes grow to about 18cm in length and weigh around 34g. They feed primariliy on insects, other invertebrates and small reptiles, but will also consume fruits in season.