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Bay-backed Shrike - BirdForum Opus

Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Gurgaon Rural, Haryana, India, January-2018
Lanius vittatus


Immature, nominate subspecies
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dist. Jhajjar, Haryana, India, 27 September 2019

17–19 cm (6¾-7½)

  • Chestnut-brown above
  • Grey crown and nape
  • Small white wing patch
  • Black mask through the eye
  • Pale rump
  • White underparts
  • Buff flanks
  • Long, white-edged black tail
  • Dark grey bill and legs

Sexes similar
Juveniles paler versions of adults


Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and has recently been recorded from Sri Lanka(Citation needed).



Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Jugal Tiwari
Kutch, Gujarat, India, February 2007

This is a polytypic species, consisting of two subspecies[1]:

  • L. v. vittatus:
  • Pakistan (Indus Plains) to western Bengal and southern India (except for south-west)
  • L. v. nargianus:


Scrubby areas, open bushland, thorn forests and cultivation.



Subspecies nargianus, Turkmenistan Shrike
Photo © by WorldInFocus
Taif, Saudi Arabia, 13 March 2020

Their diet consists almost entirely of insects such as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, butterflies, moths, flies, wasps, bees and ants. They will also take lizards, small birds and rodents.


Three to five eggs are laid.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Yosef, R., International Shrike Working Group & de Juana, E. (2020). Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/60476 on 14 March 2020)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.