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Magpie-Shrikes: Cracticidae

Bornean Bristlehead (pityriasis Gymnocephala): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Bornean bristleheads are thick-bodied, dusky to mostly black colored birds. They have a massively hooked bill; a red, mostly bare head with a patch of orange-yellow stubble (small projection-like bare feather shafts that give its name "bristlehead") on the crown; an edge of scarlet feathering on upper back and breast; a lower breast covered in bristle-like brown and red feathers; a very short tail; and black wings, tail, and bill. Females have chestnut eyes, a red patch on the flanks, and yellow feet. Adults are 10 to 11 inches (26 to 28 centimeters) long.

Geographic range: They are found in Borneo, except for its north-central areas, at elevations below 3,900 feet (1,200 meters).

Bornean bristleheads forage in the forest in groups of six to ten. (Illustration by Dan Erickson. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: Bornean bristleheads are found in lowland swamps and rainforests.

Diet: Their diet consists primarily of large insects such as arboreal (living in trees) beetles, grasshoppers, cockroaches, bugs, and larvae (LAR-vee). They take prey mostly from branches and trunks in the middle parts of forests, but will also go to recently cleared areas to find exposed food. Small olive- to plum-sized fruits are occasionally eaten.

Behavior and reproduction: Bornean bristleheads forage through the forest's mid-strata in noisy groups of about six to ten birds. They are very active while foraging, moving with sideward hops while calling loudly, and bending and looking closely for prey. They make direct flights on fast, shallow wings and make noisy calls of whines, honks, and chortles to maintain contacts, which often turn into loud, mixed choruses of various calls.

Bornean bristleheads and people: There is no known significance between people and Bornean bristleheads.

Conservation status: Bornean bristleheads are listed as Near Threatened because of deforestation. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsMagpie-Shrikes: Cracticidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Bornean Bristlehead (pityriasis Gymnocephala): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, MAGPIE-SHRIKES AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS