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Four-coloured bushshrike

Telophorus viridis

Common name:
four-coloured bushshrike (en); picanço-quadricolor (pt); gladiateur quadricolore (fr); bubú verde (es); vierfarbenwürger (de)
Order Passeriformes
Family Malaconotidae

This African species occurs in two separate populations, one along the coast of Tanzania and Kenya and the other in Mozambique, eastern Zimbabwe and north-eastern South Africa.

These birds are 19 cm long and weighs 37 g.


This species is found in woodlands with dense undergrowth, especially riparian woodland. It also occurs in wooded drainage lines in thornveld, forest fringes, dune forest and coastal evergreen forest patches.

The four-coloured bushshrike mostly eats insects, taking beetles, caterpillars, mantids, wasps and bees from the canopy of trees.
These birds breed in October-December. Both sexes construct the nest, which is an untidy, shallow cup built of fine twigs, rootlets, leaf petioles and grass, sometimes secured with spider web. It is usually placed on a horizontal branch or fork of a thorny tree, but also in tangles of creepers. The females lay 1-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 13-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents until fledging, which takes place 12 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and although the population size is yet to be quantified they are common in large parts of their range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.
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