Distribution

Almost all the bush-shrikes are found in Africa, south of the Sahara. The only exception is the black-crowned tchagra (Tchagra senegala), which is widespread on the African continent and has two isolated races, one in north Africa and the other on the southwest Arabian peninsula, in Yemen and

Oman. Among the most widespread species are the gray-headed bush-shrike (Malaconotus blanchoti) and its smaller replica, the orange-breasted bush-shrike (Telophorus sulfure-opectus); the two species have almost the same vast breeding range in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the very rare species are the Mount Kupé bush shrike, known only from two or three tiny areas in Cameroon, and the Bulo Berti boubou, known from only one individual in central Somalia.

Helmet-shrikes are confined to sub-Saharan Africa. The most widespread species found in west, east, and southern Africa is the white-crested helmet-shrike (Prionops plumata).

True shrikes are also well represented in sub-Saharan Africa. The genus Corvinella occurs only there, but the most widespread species is the common fiscal (Lanius collaris); with about 10 races, it can be seen almost everywhere in adequate habitats. The rarest species is the rather similar Sao Tomé fiscal (L. newtoni), confined to an island in the gulf of Guinea. Two Lanius species breed both in north Africa and Eurasia: the southern gray shrike (L. meridionalis) and the woodchat (L. senator). Populations of the latter also migrate from Eurasia to Africa, as populations of three other Lanius do. Other shrikes of the same genus are common in Asia; a race of the long-tailed shrike breeds in New Guinea. Only two species have reached North America: the holarctic northern shrike, which has some breeding populations beyond the Arctic circle and breeds in Alaska and northern Canada, and the very similar endemic loggerhead shrike (L. ludovicianus).

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