The bokmakierie (Telophorus zeylonus) is a bushshrike. This family of passerine birds is closely related to the true shrikes in the family Laniidae, and was once included in that group. This species is endemic to southern Africa, mainly in South Africa and Namibia, with an isolated population in the mountains of eastern Zimbabwe and western Mozambique.

It is a species of open habitats, including karoo scrub, fynbos and parks and gardens in urban areas. The bulky cup nest is constructed in a hedge, scrub or tree fork. The 2-6, usually three, red-brown or lilac-blotched greenish-blue eggs are incubated by both sexes for about 16 days to hatching, with another 18 days to fledging.

The adult bokmakierie is a 22–23 cm long bird with olive-green upperparts and a conspicuous bright yellow tip to the black tail. The head is grey with a yellow supercilium, and the strong bill has a hooked upper mandible. The underparts are bright yellow with a broad black collar between the throat and breast, which continues up the neck sides through the eye to the bill. The legs and feet are blue-grey. The sexes are similar, but juveniles are a dull grey-green below, and lack the black gorget.

There are four subspecies, differing mainly in colour shade and size. Although the species as a whole is not threatened, the isolated dark subspecies restrictus in the Chimanimani Mountains numbers only about 400 birds.

The bokmakierie has a range of loud whistles and calls, often given in duet, but the most typical is the one that gives this species its name, bok-bok-mak-kik.

Unlike the true shrikes, which perch conspicuously in the open, the bokmakierie is shy and skulking. This bird has a typical shrike diet of insects, small lizards, snakes, small birds and frogs. It is preyed upon itself by snakes, mongooses, and large shrikes like the northern fiscal and southern boubou.



Bokmakierie
Date Location Count
2020-01-31 08:30Paternoster to St Helena Bay1
2020-02-04 16:00R399--Vredenburg to Paternoster2
2020-01-21 06:30St Helena Bay1
2020-02-15 07:26Berg River Estuary1
2020-02-12 11:35Kliphoek Salt Pans1
2020-02-12 15:40Langebaan Country Estate1
2020-02-15 09:16West Coast NP--Geelbek hides vicinity
2020-02-04 07:59Darling Hills/Groote Post Road5
2020-02-08 16:10Benfontein Nature Reserve2
2020-02-18 06:26Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden2
2020-01-20 06:20Kloofendal Municipal Nature Reserve2
2020-02-15 05:43Rietvlei Nature Reserve4
2020-02-16 09:12Rustfontein Nature Reserve1
2020-01-25 05:40Wilge River Valley (upper)1
2020-02-09 16:17Addo Elephant NP--Main Rest Camp2
2020-01-25 06:00Sani Lodge Backpackers2