Backyard Birds


The Cuckoo-shrikes and allies are small to medium-sized passerine bird species that occur naturally in subtropical and tropical Africa, Asia, and Australasia.


They are small to medium birds with long and slender bodies.

The plumage is predominantly greyish with white and black, the exception being the minivets which have a brightly colored plumage of red, yellow, and black, and the central African Blue Cuckooshrike is all-over glossy blue.

The males of the genus Campephaga have glossy black plumage and bright red or yellow wattles. The females are duller in coloration, with an olive-green plumage.



Most of the species live in forests. Around eleven species favor more open habitats. The Australian Ground Cuckooshrike is found in open plains and scrubland with few trees.

The ‘true’ cuckooshrikes are usually found singly, in pairs, and in small family groups.

The minivets, flycatcher-shrikes and wood-shrikes usually form small flocks.

Cuckooshrikes are territorial. Sedentary (non-migratory) species maintained their territories year round.

Diet / Feeding

They mostly feed on insects, caterpillars, small vertebrates, and some fruit, seeds and other plant matter.

Breeding / Nesting

Cuckooshrikes appear to be mostly monogamous. Polygamy has been observed in only one instant – the Australian White-winged Trillers assisted two females in raising their young. Several species of cuckooshrike exhibit cooperative breeding.

They construct cup nests that are situated in trees.

The white, blue or green eggs are blotchy. The average clutch consists of about 4 eggs, which are incubated for about two weeks. 

About four blotchy white, green or blue eggs are laid in a cup nest in a tree. Incubation is about two weeks.

CuckooshrikesCuckooshrike Species PhotosCuckooshrike Species Index

Beauty Of Birds strives to maintain accurate and up-to-date information; however, mistakes do happen. If you would like to correct or update any of the information, please contact us. THANK YOU!!!


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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