Family Bush-shrikes (Malaconotidae)

Least Concern

Black-fronted Bush-shrike (Chlorophoneus nigrifrons)


French: Gonolek à front noir German: Graustirnwürger Spanish: Bubú frentinegro

Laniarius nigrifrons


, 1896,

Marangu, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


Has sometimes been placed in Laniarius. Perhaps conspecific with C. multicolor. Occurs in five main colour morphs. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. n. nigrifrons (Reichenow, 1896) – mountains of E Uganda (Mt Elgon), Kenya, Tanzania, NE Zambia and N Malawi.
  • C. n. manningi (Shelley, 1899) – E Angola, SE DRCongo (Katanga) and N Zambia.
  • C. n. sandgroundi Bangs, 1931 – S Malawi, Mozambique, E Zimbabwe and NE South Africa (Limpopo Province).
  • Descriptive notes

    18–19 cm; male 28–40 g, female 25–42·5 g. Polymorphic; males occur in four colour morphs and females in three. Male nominate race yellow morph has... read more


    Varied. Main song of male a low-pitched, hollow series of "hou" or "hoi" or "quoh" whistles,... read more


    Inhabits canopy of montane forest above 2300 m and, at lower elevations, escarpment, lowland and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), wasps (Hymenoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and caterpillars. Forages in middle and upper... read more


    Season Feb in Tanzania, Jul–Aug and Oct in SE DRCongo (Katanga), Oct–Mar in Zambia, Oct–Nov in Malawi, Oct–Jan in... read more


    Resident and partial vertical migrant. In Tanzania, mainly at 1200–2200 m but in Jun–... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Range somewhat fragmented, and several montane populations small and isolated. Widespread but local, and uncommon to frequent. In Kenya, occurs on Mt... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fry, H. (2020). Black-fronted Bush-shrike (Chlorophoneus nigrifrons). 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 24 February 2020).