Family Shrikes (Laniidae)

Least Concern

Northern White-crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus ruppelli)


French: Eurocéphale de Rüppell German: Rüppellwürger Spanish: Alcaudón culiblanco
Other common names: White-rumped Shrike

Eurocephalus ruppelli

[sic] Bonaparte

, 1853,

White Nile, Shoa, Ethiopia


Race erlangeri sometimes considered insufficiently differentiated, and species treated as monotypic#R. Other proposed races are deckeni (Afgoi, in S Somalia), which is included in erlangeri, and fischeri (W of Kilimanjaro, in N Tanzania) and boehmi (NE of L Malawi, in S Tanzania), both synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. r. ruppelli Bonaparte, 1853 – SE South Sudan, N & E Uganda, W part of S Ethiopia, Kenya (except NE) and N, C & S Tanzania.
  • E. r. erlangeri Zedlitz, 1913 – C & SE Ethiopia, NE Kenya and extreme NW, C & S Somalia.
  • Descriptive notes

    19–23 cm; 42–58 g. A large stocky shrike with relatively short tail. Nominate race has forehead, crown and nape white, dull black facial mask from bill base and... read more


    Little information available. Has complex repertoire with noisy, harsh nasal quality, very similar... read more


    Dry thornbush areas and open woodland. Typical species of acacia (Acacia) or ... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insectivorous, but little information available. Beetles (Coleoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and butterflies (Lepidoptera) most... read more


    Very few data. Season Mar–May and Oct in Ethiopia, Aug–Dec in Sudan, Mar–Jun in Somalia, Jan–Apr/May and Nov in... read more


    Little information available; possibly some local seasonal movements in Sudan.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in most of range. Has been poisoned during spraying of Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) colonies. Occurs in several protected areas... read more

    Recommended citation

    Yosef, R. & International Shrike Working Group (2020). Northern White-crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus ruppelli). 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 17 February 2020).