Family Bush-shrikes (Malaconotidae)

Least Concern

Doherty's Bush-shrike (Telophorus dohertyi)


French: Gonolek de Doherty German: Rotstirnwürger Spanish: Bubú de Doherty

Laniarius dohertyi


, 1901,

Kikuyu Escarpment, Kenya


Closely related to T. viridis; the two have conventionally been grouped in Chlorophoneus, but studies of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA support their placement in present genus. Monotypic.


E DRCongo, SW Uganda, W Rwanda, W Burundi and W & C Kenya.

Descriptive notes

19 cm; 36–40 g. A relatively small-billed bush-shrike. Male of crimson morph has forehead and forecrown, lower cheek, chin and throat bright crimson, sharply demarcated... read more


Song, presumably of male, variable, of loud piercing fluty whistles or liquid notes in brief... read more


Low, dense, moist thickets and tangles of scrub and bracken in clearings and at edges of montane... read more

Food and feeding

Beetles (Coleoptera) and other arthropods. Forages on ground among shrubbery, probably also in shrub foliage. Generally in pairs.


Various indications of breeding in May–Jul in DRCongo, Aug in Rwanda, Dec in Uganda and May–Jun in Kenya. No further... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Readily overlooked, but reportedly fairly common in Kivu (DRCongo). Although absent from Lendu Plateau and Rwenzori Mts, fairly common in extreme SW... read more

Recommended citation

Fry, H. (2020). Doherty's Bush-shrike (Telophorus dohertyi). 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 16 February 2020).