Friday, May 25

Red-tailed shrike

   ›      ›   Red-tailed shrike - Lanius phoenicuroides

The red-tailed shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) belongs to the family of shrikes, the Laniidae.

The red-tailed shrike species is distributed in central Asia, West Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, India and Africa. These shrike species usually impale their prey on thorns. These shrikes are monotypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Red-tailed Shrike Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The red-tailed shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) is a medium-sized, long-tailed shrike, measuring 16 to 18 cm in length and weighing 25 to 40 grams.

The red-tailed shrike has reddish brown plumage on the head, back and upperparts. The underparts are whitish or pale buff. There is a black eye-band meeting at the lower forehead. There is a white supercilium meeting the upper forehead.

The bill is short, stout and gray in color. The upper mandible is hooked at the tip. The irises are blackish. The legs and feet are gray. The call of the red-tailed shrike is a "chew..chew" and "cik..cik" sound.
Indian birds - Photo of Red-tailed shrike - Lanius phoenicuroides
1.Birds of India - Photo of Red-tailed shrike - Lanius phoenicuroides by Peter Steward


Birds of India - Photo of Red-tailed shrike - Lanius phoenicuroides
2.Indian birds - Photo of Red-tailed shrike - Lanius phoenicuroides by Jrrobinantony

Indian birds - Photo of Red-tailed shrike - Lanius phoenicuroides
3.Birds of India - Photo of Red-tailed shrike - Lanius phoenicuroides by Sergey Yeliseev

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These red-tailed shrike species are distributed in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, northwest China, Middle East, east and northeast Africa and parts of western Africa.

Passage red-tailed shrikes are found in northwest India, parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, parts of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, Mali, northwest Niger and north Sudan.

Vagrants occur in United Kingdom, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Gabon, Malawi and Maldives.

Ecosystem and habitat

These red-tailed shrike species do not normally occur in forests. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 3000 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include cultivated fields and rural gardens.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these red-tailed shrike species include tropical and subtropical dry grasslands, dry savanna, dry shrublands, scrub jungles, inland wetlands, freshwater lakes and freshwater marshes.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these red-tailed shrike species consists mainly of insects. Large insects, insect larvae, spiders, beetles and termites are their primary food. They hunt from prominent perches.

They often impale the prey on thorns, before eating. They also prey upon small birds, nestlings, small mammals and lizards.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these red-tailed shrike species is from April to June in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The laying season is during April in Turkmenistan. The breeding season is during May in Kazakhstan.

These species are monogamous. The breeding pair construct cup-shaped nest among thorny bushes. Both the pair incubate the eggs and raise the young. The clutch contains 4-6 white eggs with a few pale brown spots.

Migration and movement patterns

These red-tailed shrike species are fully migratory birds. The breeding populations are found in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwest China (Xinjiang).

They migrate to Middle East, east and northeast Africa and parts of western Africa in September and November. They make several stopovers and passage birds are found in northwest India. The return migration takes place in early summer.

Red-tailed shrike - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Lanius phoenicuroides
  • Species author: (Schalow, 1875)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Otomela phoenicuroides Schalow, 1875
  • Family: Laniidae › Passeriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Red-tailed shrike, Chinese: 棕尾伯劳, French: Pie-grièche du Turkestan, German: Rotschwanzwürger, Spanish: Alcaudón colirrojo, Russian: Рыжехвостый жулан, Japanese: アカオモズ
  • Other names: Turkestan Shrike, Rufous-tailed Shrike
  • Distribution:central Asia, West Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, India, Africa
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, small birds, rodents, lizards
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the red-tailed shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

In most of its range, this shrike species is reported as not uncommon (Harris and Franklin 2000). The generation length is 3.9 years. Its distribution size is about 5,670,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration, fragmentation and destruction and human intrusions and disturbance are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these species.

IUCN and CITES status

The red-tailed shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the shrike species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the red-tailed shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Lanius phoenicuroides
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family:Laniidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Lanius
Species:L. phoenicuroides
Binomial name:Lanius phoenicuroides
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The red-tailed shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) is closely related to the isabelline shrike (Lanius isabellinus), brown shrike (Lanius cristatus) and the red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio).
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1.Red-tailed shrike photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pete_steward/14741721271/ (cropped)
Photo author: Peter Steward | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 as on 5/25/18
2.Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:0T4A6719.jpg (cropped)
Photo author: Jrrobinantony | License: CC BY-SA 4.0 as on 5/25/18
3.Photo source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/5347347327/
Photo author: Sergey Yeliseev | License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 as on 5/25/18
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