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Mountain Shrike

From Opus

Photo by Romy OconElev. 2155 m, Bauko, Mountain Province, Philippines, December 2006
Photo by Romy Ocon
Elev. 2155 m, Bauko, Mountain Province, Philippines, December 2006

Alternative name: Grey-capped Shrike

Lanius validirostris


[edit] Identification

20-22.5cm. A medium-sized to large shrike with a relatively heavy bill and a longish tail.

  • Thin black band above bill extending into black facial mask
  • Narrow whitish supercilium (sometimes barely noticable)
  • Dark grey crown, nape and mantle to uppertail-coverts (rump and uppertail-coverts sometimes with a rufous tinge)
  • Uniform dark brown upperwing with paler fringes
  • Dark brown tail
  • White chin, throat and breast
  • Whitish to greyish-white rest of underparts
  • Rufous-brown on flanks and undertail-coverts
  • tertius is smaller and deeper rufous on flanks and undertail-coverts

Sexes similar, females slightly smaller.
Juveniles with blackish-brown facial mask reduced in extent, greyish-brown crown and upperparts or brown with dark barring.

[edit] Distribution

Locally in the mountains of the Philippines.
A restricted-range species, not common but considered not to be at any immediate risk.

[edit] Taxonomy

Three subspecies recognized:

  • L. v. validirostris on northern Luzon (Cordillera and northern Sierra Madre)
  • L. v. tertius on northern Mindoro (Mount Halcon and Mount Dulungan)
  • L. v. hachisuka on Mindanao (Mount Malindang, Misamis Oriental, Mount Kitanglad, Mount Civolig, Mount Apo)

Forms probably a superspecies with Grey-backed Shrike and Long-tailed Shrike.

[edit] Habitat

Clearings in montane forest, open secondary growth and grassland with shrubs. Occurs between 1200m and 2400m.

[edit] Behaviour

Feeds mostly on insects, takes also extremely hard-bodied beetles.
Usually seen singly or in pairs. A rather conspicuous species, behaviour similar as that of Bull-headed Shrike.
Perches upright on exposed top of bush or tree from where it dives down on to prey.
Probably a monogamous and territorial species. Birds with enlarged gonads recorded in February, March, May and June. A pair feeding juveniles observed in mid-May. No other information about breeding.
Possibly a resident species with some local altitudinal movements.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2008. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553453

[edit] External Links


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