Family Bush-shrikes (Malaconotidae)

Least Concern

Lowland Sooty Boubou (Laniarius leucorhynchus)


French: Gonolek fuligineux German: Schwarzwürger Spanish: Bubú sombrío
Other common names: Sooty Boubou

Telophonus leucorhynchus


, 1848,

Elmina, Ghana


Genetic data#R indicate that this all-black species may be sister to black-and-scarlet S African L. atrococcineus. Monotypic.


Sierra Leone and SE Guinea E to S Togo, and SE Nigeria E to extreme SW South Sudan (Bengangai) and Uganda, S to extreme NW & NE Angola (Cabinda, N Lunda Norte) and C DRCongo.

Descriptive notes

21–22 cm; male 51–57 g, female 44–45 g. Male is jet-black with faint violet or blue gloss; feathers of lower back and rump very full, long and soft;... read more


Sings often, all year; pair sings in duet, which thought to serve for both contact and territorial... read more


Dense undergrowth near lowland rainforest and in savanna woodland, to 900 m in Liberia and 1400 m... read more

Food and feeding

Orthoptera, butterflies and caterpillars (Lepidoptera), mantises (Mantidae), cicadas (Cicadidae), beetles (Coleoptera), large wasps (... read more


Nest-building in May in Guinea; birds in fresh plumage and extended singing in Aug–Nov, nest with eggs in late Oct, females with... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare throughout much of W Africa, although locally frequent, probably overlooked; frequent or common in well-investigated parts of Congo Basin. In... read more

Recommended citation

Fry, H. (2020). Lowland Sooty Boubou (Laniarius leucorhynchus). 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 31 March 2020).