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The helmetshrikes are smallish passerine bird species. They were formerly classed with the true shrikes in the family Lanidae, but are now considered sufficiently distinctive to be separated from that group as the family Prionopidae.
This is an African group of species which are found in scrub or open woodland. They are similar in feeding habits to shrikes, hunting insects and other small prey from a perch on a bush or tree.
Although similar in build to the shrikes, these tend to be colourful species with the distinctive crests or other head ornaments, such as wattles, from which they get their name.
Helmetshrikes are noisy and sociable birds, some of which breed in loose colonies. They lay 2-4 eggs in neat, well-hidden nests.
- Family: Prionopidae
- White Helmetshrike, Prionops plumatus
- Gray-crested Helmetshrike, Prionops poliolophus
- Yellow-crested Helmetshrike, Prionops alberti
- Chestnut-bellied Helmetshrike, Prionops caniceps
- Retz's Helmetshrike, Prionops retzii
- Angola Helmetshrike, Prionops gabela
- Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike, Prionops scopifrons
- Large Woodshrike, Tephrodornis gularis
- Common Woodshrike, Tephrodornis pondicerianus
- Rufous-winged Philentoma, Philentoma pyrhopterum
- Maroon-breasted Philentoma Philentoma velatum