Family Bush-shrikes (Malaconotidae)

Least Concern

Gorgeous Bush-shrike (Telophorus viridis)


French: Gonolek vert German: Doppelbandwürger Spanish: Bubú verde

Laniarius viridis


, 1817,

Malimbe (= Malembo), Cabinda, Angola


Closely related to T. dohertyi (which see). Green-bellied nominate race in W of range formerly treated as a separate species, but there are no clear differences from other races in voice or morphometrics. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. v. viridis (Vieillot, 1817) – Gorgeous Bush-shrike – SE Gabon, SW Congo, W & E Angola (including Cabinda), SW & S DRCongo and NW Zambia.
  • T. v. nigricauda (S. R. Clarke, 1913) – extreme S Somalia, SE Kenya and E Tanzania.
  • T. v. quartus Clancey, 1960 – S Malawi, E Zimbabwe and W & S Mozambique.
  • T. v. quadricolor (Cassin, 1851) – Four-coloured Bush-shrike – NE South Africa (N & E Limpopo S to NE Eastern Cape) and Swaziland.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–19 cm; male 30–40·5 g, female 31–39·5 g. Male nominate race has ­saffron-yellow line across forehead extending back to eye; crown,... read more


    Male song loud, far-carrying liquid whistles, 1–3 short "ko", "kok" or... read more


    Undergrowth in patches of montane high forest, to 2000 m. In Angola coffee forest and dry forest;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small arthropods, including hawkmoths (Sphingidae) and other moths (Lepidoptera), caterpillars, beetles (Coleoptera), parasitic wasps (... read more


    Season Mar–May in Angola, Apr in Malawi, Oct–Feb in Zimbabwe, Nov–Feb in Mozambique, and Oct–Dec in South Africa.... read more


    Mainly resident; race quadricolor moves locally from drier parts of range for non-breeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Three main populations. Nominate race uncommon to locally common, probably widely under-reported, being secretive in dense thickets, and likely to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fry, H. (2020). Gorgeous Bush-shrike (Telophorus viridis). 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 19 February 2020).