Family Bush-shrikes (Malaconotidae)

Least Concern

Three-streaked Tchagra (Tchagra jamesi)


French: Tchagra de James German: Somalitschagra Spanish: Chagra de James

Telephonus jamesi


, 1885,

Goolis Mountains, Somalia


Has hybridized with T. australis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. j. jamesi (Shelley, 1885) – extreme SE South Sudan, NE Uganda, C & S Ethiopia (N to Awash National Park#R), Somalia, N & E Kenya (except coast) and extreme NE Tanzania.
  • T. j. mandanus (Neumann, 1903) – islands of Lamu and Manda and adjacent Kenya coast (W to Witu and R Tana Delta).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; male 22–30 g, two females 26–27 g, unsexed 24–32 g. Nominate race has crown and side of head greyish-brown, narrow black median stripe from... read more


    Male song in display-flight, preceded by mechanical wing-fripping, a series of emphatic downslurred... read more


    Semi-desert, with thickets of dense low thorn-scrub in arid and semi-arid acacia (Acacia)... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including cockroaches (Blattodea), mantis egg cases (Mantidae) and moths (Lepidoptera); possibly preys on chicks in Red-billed... read more


    Poorly studied. Season Dec in S Sudan, Mar–Apr in Somalia, and Mar–Jul (mainly Apr–May) in S Ethiopia; May on Kenya coast... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. In SE Sudan, fairly common in Natoporoputh Hills; rather uncommon in Ethiopia; in Somalia, locally common and widespread but absent from most of NE... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fry, H. (2020). Three-streaked Tchagra (Tchagra jamesi). 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).