Ethiopian Boubou Laniarius aethiopicus Scientific name definitions

Hilary Fry, Peter Pyle, Peter F. D. Boesman, and Nárgila Moura
Version: 2.0 — Published June 23, 2023



Poorly known. The information presented here is based on that described for Tropical Boubou (Laniarius major) in Harris and Franklin (2) and Fry et al. (16) unless otherwise noted; it is likely that Ethiopian Boubou is similar in many aspects of its breeding biology, but more information is needed.


The breeding season for Ethiopian Boubou has been recorded as April–June and August–September in Ethiopia and Eritrea, April–May in northwest Somalia.

Nest Site

Information needed.


Construction Process

Nest built by both sexes, although mainly by the female. Several nests may be started, with the material of those nests successively plundered by the pair until the female lays in the definitive one.

Structure and Composition

The nest is a shallow, open bowl made of loosely woven rootlets and twiglets, bound sparingly with spiders' webs, and sparsely lined with fine rootlets (eggs usually visible from below). The nest is well concealed in a fork, generally in thorn bush, or on horizontal branch with climbers and epiphytes, usually 1.5–3 m (sometimes up to 9 m) above ground, in tree such as Terminalia prunioides.


Clutch Size

Clutch 2–3 eggs.


Incubation by both sexes, but mainly by female. When a change-over in incubation duties occurs, the pair sing duet (initiated by the sitting bird). The incubation period lasts ca. 15 d.


Information needed.

Young Birds

Information needed.

Parental Care

Chicks fed by both sexes, usually only one visiting the nest at a time.

Cooperative Breeding

Information needed.

Brood Parasitism by Other Species

Tropical Boubou is parasitized by Black Cuckoo (Cuculus clamosus); it is possible that Black Cuckoo also parasitizes Ethiopian Boubou, as their ranges overlap (2).

Fledgling Stage

Departure from the Nest

Nestling period ca. 15 d.

Association with Parents or Other Young

Young birds remain with parents for ca. 5 months after leaving the nest.

Ability to get Around, Feed, and Care for Self

Young can feed themselves by ca. 7 weeks after leaving nest.

Immature Stage

Information needed.

Recommended Citation

Fry, H., P. Pyle, P. F. D. Boesman, and N. Moura (2023). Ethiopian Boubou (Laniarius aethiopicus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.trobou2.02