Bay-backed shrike

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Bay-backed shrike
Bay-backed shrike (Lanius vittatus) Photograph by Shantanu Kuveskar.jpg
Lanius vittatus From Mangaon, Maharashtra, India
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Laniidae
Genus: Lanius
L. vittatus
Binomial name
Lanius vittatus
(Valenciennes, 1826)

The bay-backed shrike (Lanius vittatus) is a member of the bird family Laniidae, the shrikes, resident in South Asia.

Bay-backed Shrike, India, by David Raju.jpg


It is smallish shrike at 17 cm, maroon-brown above with a pale rump and long black tail with white edges. The underparts are white, but with buff flanks.[2] The crown and nape are grey, with a typical shrike black bandit mask through the eye. There is a small white wing patch, and the bill and legs are dark grey.[2]

Sexes are similar, but young birds are washed-out versions of the adults.[2]

Habits and habitat[edit]

The bay-backed shrike has a characteristic upright "shrike" attitude perched on a bush, from which it sallies after lizards, large insects, small birds and rodents.[2]

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.[2]

It is a widespread resident breeder in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India, and has recently been recorded from Sri Lanka. It nests in bushes in scrubby areas and cultivation, laying 3-5 eggs.[3]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Lanius vittatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e Grimmett, Inskipp & Inskipp. Birds of India. ISBN 0-691-04910-6.
  3. ^ Compilers: Stuart Butchart, Jonathan Ekstrom (2008). "Bay-backed Shrike - BirdLife Species Factsheet". Evaluators: Jeremy Bird, Stuart Butchart BirdLife International . Retrieved June 2, 2009.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)

External links[edit]