Family Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)

Least Concern

Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike (Campephaga phoenicea)


French: Échenilleur à épaulettes rouges German: Rotschulter-Raupenfänger Spanish: Oruguero hombrorrojo

Ampelis phœnicea


, 1790,



Close to C. flava (which see) and C. petiti. Monotypic.


Senegal and Gambia E to S Chad, S Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea, S to Sierra Leone, N Ivory Coast, SE Ghana, SE Cameroon, N Congo, N DRCongo, Uganda and extreme W Kenya.

Descriptive notes

20 cm; 23–35·5 g. Male is black, glossed greenish-blue, with red, orange or orange-yellow lesser and median upper­wing-coverts (“shoulder” patch... read more


Mainly silent. Song, often as duet, a jumble of high-pitched whistles, squeaks and churrs,... read more


Forest patches, including edges and clearings, gallery forest, moist secondary growth, wooded... read more

Food and feeding

Eats caterpillars (Lepidoptera) and other insects, especially orthopterans and bugs (Hemiptera). Keeps to upper or middle storeys;... read more


Breeds during rains, May–Sept in Nigeria, Jul in W Sudan (Jun in S) and Mar–Apr in Uganda; carrying nesting material in Aug in... read more


Migratory in W Africa (E of c. 8° E) and in Sudan, moving N to breed during rains and returning... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread, and uncommon to locally common. No information on effects of habitat loss, but this species’ numbers may have been reduced by... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2020). Red-shouldered Cuckooshrike (Campephaga phoenicea). 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).