Bokmakierie Shrike

An African Shrike, the Bokmakierie is endemic to South Africa

South Africa BirdlifeThe Bokmakierie Shrike {Telophorus zeylonus}

The Bokmakierie is a brilliant yellow, green and grey shrike. The bill is shortish, strong, with a sharp hook at the end of the upper mandible. The legs and feet are blue/grey.

The Bokmakierie has brilliant yellow underparts with a broad black collar separating the throat from the breast. The Bokmakierie has a grey head and thin yellow eyebrow. The back and wings are olive green.

The name, Bokmakierie, comes from its melodious call notes, often uttered in duet, from the top of a bush or tree.

Quick Facts


Weight: 68 g.
Height: 23 cm.
Wingspan: 180 - 210 cm.


Open habitats, including highveld koppies, karoo, fynbos and semi-desert scrub. The Bokmakierie is also found in parks and gardens, orchards, vineyards in towns and cities, usually in pairs.


The Bokmakierie Shrike is endemic to South Africa and Zimbabwe. It occurs across South Africa excluding most of the Limpopo Province.


It's diet consists primarily of insects, small lizards and snakes, birds, frogs.


The Bokmakierie is a shy bird. It has little contact with other bush shrikes.


The Bokmakierie has a fair range of calls, often given in duet, The most usual call is the one after which it is named; "bok-bok-mak-kik".


The nest is a bulky bowl-shaped cup of twigs, stems and roots built by both parents. The nest is placed in a dense hedge or bush or in the fork of leafy tree, usually well concealed. They lay eggs year round (but egg-laying season peaks in August). 2 - 5 egs are laid. Young are fed by both parents and leave the nest after 2 to 3 weeks but are still tolerated by the parents until the next breeding season at which time they go off on their own.


Incubation lasts 14-19 days. The eggs are incubated by the male during the day and by the mother at night.

Life Expectancy

Info required.


Snakes, mongooses and larger shrikes.


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