This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is thought to have a moderately small population which is experiencing a moderately rapid and ongoing population decline, owing to the destruction and degradation of its habitat for agriculture. Evidence that the species has a small population or is undergoing a rapid population decline may qualify it for uplisting to a higher threat category.
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Prionops poliolopha Collar and Andrew (1988), Prionops poliolopha poliolopha Collar and Andrew (1988)
Easily confused with the much commoner Prionops plumatus. The Grey-crested Helmet Shrike P. poliolophus is larger, lacks a yellow wattle around the eye, has a tufty grey crest on the hind-crown and a blackish spot on the side of the breast (Bennun 1994). The blackish spot on the side of the breast is probably the best single feature for distinguishing this species in the field. 24-26 cm. A flocking, black, grey and white shrike. An obvious black and white shrike with obvious, long grey crest and very large white wing stripe. At close range it shows a yellow eye lacking yellow wattles. Similar spp. The race policephalus of White Helmet-shrike is similar but smaller, has yellow eye wattles and a white, not grey crest. Voice Bill snapping and various churring and clickings sounds. Hints Most frequently encountered in the Serengeti and Mara Parks.
Bennun, L. 1994. Threatened birds of Kenya, 6: Grey-crested Helmet Shrike. Kenya Birds 3(2): 84-87.
del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 2000. The birds of Africa vol. VI. Academic Press, London.
Malaki, P.; Muchane, M.; Balakrishna, M. 2008. Notes on the nesting and breeding behaviour of the Grey-crested Helmet-shrike Prionops poliolophus around Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Scopus 28: 41-45.
Zimmerman, D. A.; Turner, D. A.; Pearson, D. J. 1996. Birds of Kenya and northern Tanzania. Helm, London.
Further web sources of information
View photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection
Text account compilers
Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
Baker, N., Bennun, L., Borrow, N., Fanshawe, J., Stronach, N., Turner, D.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Prionops poliolophus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/12/2013. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/12/2013.
This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.
To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife
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Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Near Threatened|
|Family||Malaconotidae (Helmetshrikes, bushshrikes and puffbacks)|
|Species name author||Fischer & Reichenow, 1884|
|Population size||Unknown mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||52,600 km2|
|Links to further information|
- Additional Information on this species|
- Climate change species distributions