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Telophorus sulfureopectus (Orange-breasted bush-shrike) 

Oranjeborsboslaksman [Afrikaans]; uHlaza (also applied to Grey-headed bush-shrike) [Zulu]; Oranje bosklauwier [Dutch]; Gladiateur soufré [French]; Orangewürger, Orangebrustwürger [German]; Picanço-de-peito-laranja [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Malaconotidae

Telophorus sulfureopectus (Orange-breasted bush-shrike) Telophorus sulfureopectus (Orange-breasted bush-shrike) 

Orange-breasted bush-shrike, Kruger National Park, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Orange-breasted bush-shrike, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. [photo Johan van Rensburg ©]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in many areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, excluding much of the western Coast and the DRC. In southern Africa it is fairly common across Zimbabwe, Mozambique, parts of Botswana and the Caprivi Strip, extending into Swaziland, the Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. It generally prefers riparian woodland, as well as wooded drainage lines in savanna, miombo (Brachystegia) woodland, avoiding evergreen forest.

Distribution of Orange-breasted bush-shrike in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  


It mainly eats insects, doing most of its foraging in the canopy of trees, gleaning insects from leaves and branches. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • Both sexes construct the nest, which is an untidy, shallow cup built of fine twigs, rootlets, leaf petioles and grass, sometimes secured with spider web. It is usually placed on a horizontal branch or fork of a thorny tree, but also in tangles of creepers.
Telophorus sulfureopectus (Orange-breasted bush-shrike)  

Orange-breasted shrike in its nest, Sericea farm, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]

  • Egg-laying season peaks from October-December.
  • It lays 1-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 13-14 days.
  • In one observation the chicks were cared for by both parents, leaving the nest after 12 days.


Not threatened, in fact widespread across sub-Saharan Africa. s


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.