Family Bush-shrikes (Malaconotidae)

Least Concern

Rosy-patched Bush-shrike (Rhodophoneus cruentus)


French: Gonolek à croupion rose German: Rosenwürger Spanish: Bubú pechirrosado

Lanius cruentus

Hemprich and Ehrenberg

, 1828,

Arkiko, near Massawa, Eritrea


Race cathemagmenus might represent a separate species, based chiefly on male’s female-like black gorget#R, but there is no difference from other two races in voice. Form kordofanicus recognized as a race in HBW, but better lumped into nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. c. cruentus (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1828) – Rosy-patched Bush-shrike – SE Egypt, WC & NE Sudan, Eritrea and extreme N Ethiopia.
  • R. c. hilgerti (Neumann, 1903) – extreme SE South Sudan, C, E & S Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia and N & E Kenya.
  • R. c. cathemagmenus (Reichenow, 1887) – Tsavo Bush-shrike – S Kenya and NE Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–23·5 cm; male 40–62 g, one female 50 g (hilgerti). Distinctive, with long, graduated tail, quite heavy and strong bill hooked and notched. Male... read more


    Various thin, piercing or chirping, quavering whistles, somewhat slurred and ventriloquial.... read more


    Wadis with extensive acacia (Acacia) groves, hot coastal plains with acacia and dry, open... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including beetles (Coleoptera) and grasshoppers (Orthoptera); some small fruits. Terrestrial, spending much time on open or almost... read more


    Breeds probably in response to rain, duetting common in spring and early summer; about Mar–Jun on Egypt-Sudan border (Jebel Elba),... read more


    Resident. Possible movement in Red Sea Hills, in Sudan, where said to be common only seasonally.... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Race kordofanicus, known only from three specimens collected in 1902 in Ogayeh Wells (near El Obeid), in Kordofan, and one individual seen... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fry, H. (2020). Rosy-patched Bush-shrike (Rhodophoneus cruentus). 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 19 February 2020).