Family Shrikes (Laniidae)

Least Concern

Southern White-crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus anguitimens)


French: Eurocéphale à couronne blanche German: Weißscheitelwürger Spanish: Alcaudón coroniblanco
Other common names: White-crowned Shrike

Eurocephalus anguitimens

A. Smith

, 1836,

“between Latakoo and the Tropic” = northern South Africa


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. a. anguitimens A. Smith, 1836 – SW & S Angola and N & NE Namibia E to Botswana (except SW), extreme S Zambia, C plateau of Zimbabwe, and N South Africa (W Limpopo and N North West Provinces).
  • E. a. niveus Clancey, 1965 – SE Zimbabwe and adjacent SW Mozambique S to NE South Africa (E Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces).
  • Descriptive notes

    24 cm; 51–70 g. A large stocky shrike with relatively short tail. Nominate race has forehead, crown and nape white, black line from lores passing just through and below... read more


    Repertoire diverse and complex. Calls generally loud, with some harsh and strident squeaks and... read more


    Open woodland and open parkland. Requires rather tall deciduous thorny trees and sparse ground... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods, mainly insects. Seems to favour large prey such as locusts and grasshoppers (Orthoptera), Lepidoptera (caterpillars),... read more


    Laying from Sept to Feb, mostly Oct–Dec; appears to be single-brooded. Monogamous. Co-operative and territorial, single breeding pair... read more


    Local seasonal movements reported. In years of drought appears to be nomadic, with irregular... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common and quite widespread in suitable habitats; rather localised in some regions. Population seems to be stable, and habitat not under any... read more

    Recommended citation

    Yosef, R. & International Shrike Working Group (2020). Southern White-crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus anguitimens). 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 25 February 2020).