Helmetshrike

Prionops
Tephrodornis
Philentoma

The helmetshrikes are smallish passerine bird species. These birds were included with the true shrikes in the family Laniidae, later on split between several presumably closely related groups such as bushshrikes (Malaconotidae) and cuckoo-shrikes (Campephagidae), but are now considered sufficiently distinctive to be separated from that group as the family Prionopidae.

The philentomas were traditionally placed with the Muscicapidae (flycatchers) when these were still used as a "wastebin taxon", largely as an expedient because these enigmatic birds have long defied ornithologists as regards their systematic placement; they remain little-studied and their placement here is just as provisional as it was in the Muscicapidae but even if they do not really belong here, they are at least not very distant to the Prionopidae.

This is an African and south Asian group of species which are found in scrub or open woodland. They are similar in feeding habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush or tree.

Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be colourful species with the distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name.

Helmetshrikes are noisy and sociable birds, some of which breed in loose colonies. They lay 2-4 eggs in neat, well-hidden nests.

  • Genus Prionops - typical helmetshrikes
    • White-crested Helmetshrike, Prionops plumatus
    • Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Prionops poliolophus
    • Yellow-crested Helmetshrike, Prionops alberti
    • Red-billed Helmetshrike, Prionops caniceps
    • Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike, Prionops rufiventris
    • Retz's Helmetshrike, Prionops retzii
    • Gabela Helmetshrike, Prionops gabela
    • Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, Prionops scopifrons
  • Genus Tephrodornis - woodshrikes
    • Large Woodshrike, Tephrodornis gularis
    • Common Woodshrike, Tephrodornis pondicerianus
  • Genus Philentoma - philentomas (tentatively placed here)
    • Rufous-winged Philentoma, Philentoma pyrhopterum
    • Maroon-breasted Philentoma Philentoma velatum

Other species, popularly called "shrikes", are in the families:

  • Laniidae, shrikes.
  • Malaconotidae, puffback shrikes, bush shrikes, tchagras and boubous.
  • Campephagidae, cuckoo-shrikes.

The Prionopidae and the two former are part of a group which is generally rather homogenous but also includes the diverse vangas. The Campephagidae are a bit more distinct.

Other articles related to "helmetshrikes, helmetshrike":

Prionops
... The typical helmetshrikes, Prionops, form a bird genus in the helmetshrike family Prionopidae ... They contains the following species Yellow-crested Helmetshrike (Prionops alberti) Red-billed Helmetshrike (Prionops caniceps) Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike (Prionops rufiventris) Gabela ...
List Of Birds Of Zimbabwe - Helmetshrikes
... The helmetshrikes are similar in build to the shrikes, but tend to be colourful species with distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name ... White Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus Retz's Helmetshrike Prionops retzii Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike Prionops scopifrons ...
List Of Birds Of Rwanda - Helmetshrikes
... The helmetshrikes are similar in build to the shrikes, but tend to be colourful species with distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name ... White Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus Yellow-crested Helmetshrike Prionops alberti Rufous-bellied Helmetshrike Prionops rufiventris (Ex) ...
List Of Birds Of Tanzania - Helmetshrikes
... The helmetshrikes are similar in build to the shrikes, but tend to be colourful species with distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from ... White Helmetshrike Prionops plumatus Gray-crested Helmetshrike Prionops poliolophus Retz's Helmetshrike Prionops retzii Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike Prionops scopifrons ...