Yellow-crowned gonolek

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Yellow-crowned gonolek
Flickr - Rainbirder - Yellow-crowned Gonolek (Laniarius barbarus).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Malaconotidae
Genus: Laniarius
Species: L. barbarus
Binomial name
Laniarius barbarus
(Linnaeus, 1766)

The yellow-crowned gonolek (Laniarius barbarus), also known as the common gonolek, is a medium-sized passerine bird in the bushshrike family. It is a common resident breeding bird in equatorial Africa from Senegal and Democratic Republic of Congo east to Ethiopia. It is a skulking bird and frequents dense undergrowth in forests and other wooded habitats. The nest is a cup structure in a bush or tree in which two eggs are laid.

Description[edit]

The yellow-crowned gonolek is 22 cm (8.7 in) long with a long tail and short wings. The adult is a vividly-coloured bird, although easily overlooked as it lurks in undergrowth. It has solidly black upper parts apart from its golden crown, and scarlet underparts other than a buff-yellow undertail. The legs are dark. Sexes are similar, but juveniles are paler and duller.[2]

Ecology[edit]

This species is seldom seen because it inhabits thick undergrowth from which its calls can be heard. These include whistles and rattles, often sung in duet, with a fluted too-lioo overlapped by a rattling ch-chacha. The yellow-crowned gonolek feeds mainly on insects located in bushes or on the ground. The diet consists mostly of beetles and caterpillars, but birds eggs and nestlings are sometimes taken.[2]

It is monogamous and territorial. Some courtship behaviours have been observed with a pair chasing each other through a bush, leaping from branch to branch and emitting metallic twanging sounds. The deep cup-shaped nest is often flimsy and is built in a bush, from rootlets and tendrils. Two, or occasionally three, greyish-green or bluish-green eggs with dark spots are laid.[2]

References[edit]