Family Vangas and allies (Vangidae)

Least Concern

Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher (Bias musicus)


French: Bias musicien German: Haubenvanga Spanish: Bias músico

Platyrhynchos musicus


, 1818,

Malimbe, Cabinda, north Angola


Some authors separate birds from Angola as race pallidiventris, birds from Uganda as femininus, those from Kenya and E Tanzania as changamwensis, and those from Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique as clarens, on basis mainly of paler and more spotted plumage (of female and immature male); however, these characteristics are variable. Monotypic.


Forests from Guinea-Bissau E to extreme S South Sudan (Bengangai), Uganda and NW Tanzania (N of Bukoba), S to N Angola and S DRCongo (SW Katanga); also disjunctly C Kenya and coastal Tanzania S to S Malawi, E Zimbabwe and Mozambique (S to Inhambane Province).

Descriptive notes

16 cm; 20–30 g. Thickset “flycatcher” with long crown feathers and short tail. Male has upperparts glossy black, concealed white spots on side of rump;... read more


Calls frequently; harsh nasal double-noted contact call. Song a variety of loud sharp notes.


Primary forest and second growth. Frequently near habitation in Gabon and E DRCongo (Itombwe);... read more

Food and feeding

Arthropods; some small vertebrates also taken. Insects recorded in diet include hymenopterans, dipterans, orthopterans, beetles (Coleoptera... read more


Season Apr–May in Liberia, Jan, Feb and Jun in Cameroon, peak Oct–Nov in Gabon; in DRCongo, Jan and Jun (Equateur) and Aug (... read more


Resident, but some movements evident in E Zimbabwe; birds in Mozambique possibly migratory, and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Density varies throughout range. In Liberia locally 1–4 pairs/km², and common at Mt Nimba. In Cameroon rather local, more commonly found... read more

Recommended citation

Louette, M. (2017). Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher (Bias musicus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 November 2017).