any of nine species of African songbirds (order Passeriformes) characterized by a forwardly directed crest on the forehead. Several Prionops species, often called red-billed shrikes, were formerly separated in the genus Sigmodus. They are about 20 cm (8 inches) long. In all species the plumage is predominately gray, white, and black, accented in some with rufous or buff. The bill is slender and hooked at the tip
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