The Gregarious Helmetshrikes!.

Retz’s Helmetshrike.Photo by Frans Buiter

Nothing is more rewarding like encountering a group helmet’s shrikes on any birding trip in Kenya,they are beautiful birds with their unique crest signature mark.In Kenya ,you can find four species of group;White-crested,Grey-crested,Chestnut-fronted and Retz’s Helmetshrike. Most of this species are gregarious and fly around in a group of 6 to around 50 individuals.

Grey-crested Helmetshrike.Photo by Joe Aengwo

White-crested Helmetshrike is widespread and can easily be seen in any habitat in Kenya ranging from the Tsavos,Samburu,Baringo and Kongolai escarpment in West Pokot.Grey-crested  Helmetshrike is and East African endemic and found areas around Crater Lake and Hell’s National park in Naivasha area,Masai Mara and the Serengeti national park.They are strictly restricted to acacia and leleswa bush habitat.

White-crested Helmetshrike.Photo by Joe Aengwo.

Retz’s Helmetshrike  is quite stunning to watch with its bright red bill and eye wattles and yellow eyes contrasting with is darker body appearances , this is common but rarely seen along the Kenyan and Tanzania coastline and extending upcountry to areas around Kibwezi, Makindu and Chyulu Hills.Chestnut-fronted Helmetshrike is mostly restricted to coastal areas and easily picked up in Arabuko Sokoke forest.

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