Family Shrikes (Laniidae)

Least Concern

Mackinnon's Shrike (Lanius mackinnoni)


French: Pie-grièche de Mackinnon German: Mackinnonwürger Spanish: Alcaudón de Mackinnon

Lanius mackinnoni


, 1891,

Kikuyu (= Bugemaia, Kavirondo), Kenya


W populations named as race zenkerianus, but appear inseparable from birds elsewhere in range. Monotypic.


SE Nigeria (Obudu Plateau) and SW Cameroon S to S Congo and NW Angola (S at least as far as Quiculungo), and N DRCongo E to extreme W Kenya and S to SW Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and NW & N Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

20–21 cm; 35·6–37 g. A fairly large pied shrike with rather long, graduated tail. Male has black facial mask from lores back to ear-coverts, contrasting... read more


Song a mix of hoarse “chruu” calls and intense and diverse notes like those of a... read more


Primarily savanna, and forest edges and clearings, locally also cultivations, secondary growth and... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insects, particularly Orthoptera, beetles (Coleoptera), bugs (Hemiptera), winged termites (Isoptera), ants (Formicidae) and the like... read more


Breeds Sept–Apr in Cameroon, and elsewhere in W of range (e.g. Gabon) display, copulation and occupied nests observed between Aug and... read more


Resident; juveniles probably undertake local movements.  

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Poorly known, with relatively little information on status. Locally not uncommon in W of range; locally common to uncommon in E. Effects of... read more

Recommended citation

Yosef, R. & International Shrike Working Group (2020). Mackinnon's Shrike (Lanius mackinnoni). 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 18 February 2020).