Lanius souzae (Souza's shrike, Sousa's shrike) 

Souzase laksman [Afrikaans]; Nankuwo (generic term for shrike) [Kwangali]; Souza-klauwier [Dutch]; Pie-grièche de Souza [French]; Souzawürger [German]; Picanço de Souza [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: Laniidae

Lanius souzae (Souza's shrike, Sousa's shrike)   

Souza's shrike, Shamvura, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]


Distribution and habitat

An uncommon and difficult to see bird, occurring from the Congo through southern DRC to much of Angola and Zambia, extending marginally into southern Africa. Here it has rarely been recorded a number of times in the Caprivi Strip, Namibia, usually in broad-leaved woodland such as Burkea (Burkea africana). It is a very shy and retiring bird, usually seen in the mid canopy.

Distribution of Souza's 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).


Very little is known about its diet other then that it eats beetles, spiders and occasionally small birds. It often forages from a perch 2-4 metres above ground, pouncing on prey before returning to feed.


  • 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. 


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