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21 Long-Tailed Shrike Facts You'll Never Forget

These long-tailed shrike facts are fascinating

If you love shrike birds, then here we have all the information on the long-tailed shrikes. The long-tailed shrike (Lanius schach) is a bird species with its habitat range in southern and Southeast Asia. These birds have nine known subspecies – Lanius schach stresemanni, Lanius schach suluensis, Lanius schach nasutus, Lanius schach bentet, Lanius schach longicaudatus, Lanius schach tricolor, Lanius schach schach, Lanius schach caniceps, and Lanius schach erythronotus. These birds have a conspicuously long tail and a black head mask. The conservation status of these birds has been listed as of Least Concern as their population is still stable and common in many parts. In addition, their population is not facing any great threats as of now.

Read on to know more about the long-tailed shrike and if you like this article, then also check out southern gray shrike facts and red-backed shrike facts.

Long-tailed Shrike Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a long-tailed shrike?

A long-tailed shrike is a species of bird.

What class of animal does a long-tailed shrike belong to?

The long-tailed shrike belongs to the family Laniidae and the class Aves.

How many long-tailed shrikes are there in the world?

The population of these birds in an exact number is not known. In their habitat range, their population has been seen as a common bird in some places and also as an uncommon population in some. Their population trend is also not uniform everywhere, so it's hard to determine.

Where does a long-tailed shrike live?

This species of bird is divided into nine subspecies, and the geographic range of the birds depends on these subspecies. However mostly, these birds are mainly seen in countries of southeastern and southern parts of Asia, such as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea, India, and Sri Lanka.

What is a long-tailed shrike's habitat?

The primary habitats of the long-tailed shrikes are evergreen forest edges, new plantations, semi-deserts and steppes, bushes and light woodlands, parks, gardens, grasslands with occasional bushes, and open country with scrub. They also occur in reedbeds bordering cultivations, scrub-jungles near coastal areas, paddy fields, and shelter-belts along the railways or roads. Primarily occurs in lowlands, but they can be seen till the elevation of occurrence of deciduous forests in mountains.

Who do long-tailed shrikes live with?

These birds are known to be solitary in nature. They can only be seen in some loose and small groups of six to seven pairs of birds during the breeding season.

How long does a long-tailed shrike live?

The exact lifespan of the long-tailed shrike is not known. However, shrikes, in general, live for about seven years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of these birds occurs in different months according to their different geographic range. It occurs around June-November in New Guinea, June-September and December in the Malay Peninsula, and more. These birds are monogamous in nature. Not much is known about the courtship behavior between the male and the female. After copulation, the female lays about three to six eggs on average. If this clutch is somehow lost or dies, a second brood can be seen. The female incubates the eggs for the next 13-16 days. The chicks become independent by leaving the nest at about 14-17 days. The chicks can still be seen around the breeding sites until they are about two months old.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these birds, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is listed as of Least Concern. Their population is not facing any great threats within their habitat range as of now, so no actions have yet been taken for the preservation of their population.

Long-tailed Shrike Fun Facts

What do long-tailed shrikes look like?

Long-tailed shrikes are predatory birds.

The long-tailed shrike is a medium-sized bird species. These birds have a dark gray-colored mantle and head. A black mask can be seen covering their ear coverts, eyes, and head. Eyes are brown-colored, and their short hooked bill is also black. The back, rump, flanks, and breast of these birds are chestnut-colored, while the underpants are of whitish shade. Their wings are black with white patches on the primary coverts, which becomes clearly visible when the birds are in flight. The tail is of blackish shade. The undertail feathers can be gray, while the outer tail feathers are rufous. Their appearance differs a little according to subspecies.

How cute are they?

These birds can look extremely adorable. However, they have been seen to be pretty aggressive in nature, so don't be fooled by their cute appearance.

How do they communicate?

Long-tailed shrikes have been described as loud birds. They have various calls, all harsh. Some of them are a squealing 'scha-schach-schach', 'tchert', 'tch-ick', or 'kerr-ick', a yapping 'choo-wee' or 'yaou-yaou', a repeated 'ger-lek', a repeated 'keoo-keoo'. The alarm call sounds like 'zerr-zerr' or 'kerr-kerr' and an intense 'keek-keek'. Their songs are beautiful and can last up to 15 minutes. They sound similar to aquatic warblers and other Acrocephalus warblers.

How big is a long-tailed shrike?

An adult long-tailed shrike is about 8-10 in (20-25 cm) in length. They are the same size as loggerhead shrikes.

How fast can a long-tailed shrike fly?

The exact speed at which these birds fly is not known. Their flying manner is undulating, and even in a quick flight, they can be seen flying steady and straight.

How much does a long-tailed shrike weigh?

They are medium-sized birds. An adult long-tailed shrike weighs about 1.8-1.9 oz (50-53 g) on average.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males are called cocks, and females are called hens.

What would you call a baby long-tailed shrike?

A baby long-tailed shrike is called a chick or a hatchling.

What do they eat?

These birds are opportunistic feeders and carnivorous in nature. Their diet includes small vertebrates, like small birds and mammals, frogs, lizards, and crabs. They also feed on a variety of large insects, like beetlescrickets, and grasshoppers.

Are they dangerous?

They don't pose any danger towards humans, but they are known to be pretty aggressive in nature. Hence, it's safer to admire them from a distance.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they don't make good pets. They require a specific environment to survive with lots of spaces for flights and for hunting.

Did you know...

The long-tailed shrike, bay-backed shrike, gray-backed shrike, and the other species of shrikes have predators like weasels, snakes, crows, cats, and more.

The long-tailed shrike, along with other species of shrike, hunts for prey on the ground and catches insects in the air. All shrikes are also known to impale their prey.

Brown shrike vs. long-tailed shrike

Long-tailed shrikes have a similar appearance to brown shrikes. The brown shrikes have a black band on their eyes which extends to the head in long-tailed shrikes and looks like a black mask.

Why are they called long-tailed shrikes?

This species of shrike is called long-tailed shrikes for the long length of their tails. Their scientific name is Lanius schach which comes from their squealing 'scha-schach-schach' call.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our magpie shrike facts and loggerhead shrike facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable bird coloring pages.

Second image by Lanius Schach.

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