Black-crowned Tchagra (Tchagra senegalus)

Black-crowned Tchagra

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Malaconotidae | [latin] Tchagra senegalus | [UK] Black-crowned Tchagra | [FR] Tchagra a tete noire | [DE] | [ES] | [NL] Zwartkruintsjagra


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Dryoscopus senegalus
Tchagra senegalus AF widespread, also Arabian Peninsula
Tchagra senegalus armenus
Tchagra senegalus cucullatus
Tchagra senegalus habessinicus
Tchagra senegalus kalahari
Tchagra senegalus nothus
Tchagra senegalus orientalis
Tchagra senegalus percivali
Tchagra senegalus remigialis
Tchagra senegalus senegalus
Tchagra senegalus warsangliensis

Physical charateristics

Relatively large with a long, graduated tail and a heavy black bill; sexes are similar. Characteristic black crown and black stripe through eye; white, prominent supercilium. In nominate, upperparts are gray brown; tail is dark fringed and tipped white; underparts are pale gray. Juveniles are similar to adult, but duller with a mottled crown, buff eyebrow, and paler bill. The Arabian race percivali is the darkest one, relatively similar to the North African race cucullata, also darker than nominate; on the contrary remigialis from Chad to Sudan is very pale with almost pure white underparts.

Listen to the sound of Black-crowned Tchagra

[audio: Tchagra.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 19 cm size max.: 22 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 15 days fledging max.: 15 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Africa : widespread, also Arabian Peninsula


This species is found in the Arabian peninsula and most of Africa in scrub, open woodland, semi-desert and cultivation.


Monogamous, occurs singly or in pairs. The nest is a shallow cup, built in a bush or small tree generally between 0.5 and 2 m above the ground. A normal clutch contains two or three eggs (rarely four), which are apparently incubated by both sexes, but probably mainly by female, for about 14 days. Over the vast range, laying may begin in all months with local peaks, possibly favored by early rains. Normally only one clutch. Young leave the nest when they are about 16 days old.

Feeding habits

It is similar in habits to the shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch in a bush, although it sits less conspicuously than true shrikes.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Rather a coastal species in northwestern Africa from Morocco to northern Libya (race cucullata). Nominate occurs from Senegambia to Sierra Leone. Other races widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, except in the Horn, the Congo basin, and the southwestern area of the continent.
Black-crowned Tchagra status Least Concern


Only local movements are known and only in a few areas.

Distribution map

Black-crowned Tchagra distribution range map

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