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Long-tailed Shrike

Long-tailed Shrike
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Lanius schach

The Long-tailed Shrike Lanius schach is a member of the family Laniidae, the shrikes.

It is a common resident breeder throughout the Indomalayan ecozone from India to New Guinea, found on bushes in scrubby areas and cultivation.

It has some resemblences to the grey shrikes such as the Southern Grey Shrike, Lanius meridionalis , sharing the pearl grey head and mantle and black mask extending from the forehead, through the eye, to the ear coverts.

It is small for a grey shrike, but has a very long tail with rufous edges. The under parts are white, but with rufous flanks. The bill and legs are nearly black.

This bird has a characteristic upright "shrike" attitude perched on a bush, from which it sallies after lizards, large insects, small birds and rodents.

Prey may be impaled upon a sharp point, such as a thorn . Thus secured they can be ripped with the strong hooked bill, but its feet are not suited for tearing.

Its flight is undulating, but its dash is straight and determined.

There are several races of this species, including the Himalayan L. s. tricolor, which has a black head.

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