Family Vangas and allies (Vangidae)

Near Threatened

Grey-crested Helmetshrike (Prionops poliolophus)


French: Bagadais à huppe grise German: Grauschopf-Brillenvanga Spanish: Prionopo crestigrís

Prionops poliolopha

G. A. Fischer and Reichenow

, 1884,

Lake Naivasha, Kenya




SW Kenya and adjacent N Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

23–26 cm; one male 49 g. Has long (c. 20 mm) bushy crest of grey to dark grey feathers on mid-crown, shorter crest of whitish-tipped grey spiky feathers on forecrown to... read more


Poorly documented. Vocalizations include chattering, churring, descending, harsh, rolling and... read more


Open savanna dominated by Acacia dephanolobium and Tarchonanthus, and riparian... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. No details of adult diet; likely mainly insects. Nestling diet at L Naivasha (Kenya) mostly insect larvae, grasshoppers (... read more


Poorly known. Egg-laying reported as Apr–May, but nest-building recorded Sept–Nov and incubation in Oct and Dec in L Naivasha... read more


Apparently largely resident; some post-breeding movement likely from Mara-Narok nesting grounds NE... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Restricted range species: present in Serengeti Plains EBA. Has rather small range of c. 52,800 km2, within... read more

Recommended citation

Allan, D. (2019). Grey-crested Helmetshrike (Prionops poliolophus). 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 25 May 2019).