Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology

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Territoriality, breeding biology and vocalisations of the Crimson-breasted Shrike

Tobias FC Merkle


This study reports on aspects of the territoriality, breeding success and vocal behaviour of Crimson-breasted Shrikes Laniarus atrococcineus at a study site in the Nylsvley district, South Africa. Their mean territory size was c. 12ha. Breeding success was very low, with only one nestling fledging from 13 clutches. Vocalisations consisted of eight different notes: these notes were either heard as solitary calls or combined into different types of duets. Both solitary calls and duets were heard more frequently outside the breeding season. During nest-building and incubation, the shrikes were silent, but resumed calling and duetting after the chicks had hatched. Call repertoires and the time spent calling or duetting differed among pairs of shrikes.

Ostrich 2006, 77(3&4): 136–141

AJOL African Journals Online