Bay-backed Shrikes

The Bay-backed Shrike, Lanius vittatus, is a member of the bird family Laniidae, the shrikes.

Distribution / Range

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

Bay-backed ShrikeBay-backed Shrike
Bay-backed Shrikes

Description

It is smallish shrike at 17cm, maroon-brown above with a pale rump and long black tail with white edges. The underparts are white, but with buff flanks. The crown and nape (back of the neck) 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.

Males and females look alike, but young birds are washed-out versions of the adults.

Diet / Feeding

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.

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.