PHOTOGRAPHS: GP Britz
Very rarely, a Crimson-breasted shrike Laniarius atrococcineus appears with a bright yellow belly rather than the normal crimson red colouration. One would expect such a brightly coloured bird to be very conspicuous and easy to see but this shrike likes to keep itself hidden from view and is more likely to be heard than spotted. Monogamous pairs call in a duet of liquid song all year as they hold permanent territories.
The yellow morph of the species is known to occur but has been confirmed present in only a few locations in its range. At Erindi Private Game Reserve, a yellow breasted individual appeared during the late August and early September 2011 and has been spotted by over 70 guests on 10 different game drives. The bird appears in the same area regularly and has already started to grow accustomed to the many cameras trying to catch a rare photograph of this amazing creature!