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Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Steve G.
Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, Kenya, August 2007
Prionops scopifrons


Length 16-18 cm. A dark grey helmetshrike with a chestnut forehead of short, stiff feathers. Bill, legs and feet red; eye wattle blue.


East Africa: Southern Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.


There are three subspecies:1

  • P. s. keniensis:
  • P. s. kirki:
  • P. s. scopifrons:


This species favours mature Brachystegia forest through which they constantly wander.


They move in large mobile mixed-species feeding flocks which include scimitarbills, Retz's Helmetshrike, monarch flycatchers, honeyguides and in Arabuko-Sokoke forest the rare and very localised Clarke's Weaver.


These live in family groups. Members within the clan assist the dominate pair in rearing their young.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  3. BF Member observations

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