Bird Families

Shrike Shrike (Red-tailed Shrike) Lanius isabellinus

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At the male buckskin shrike, or red-tailed shrike (Lanius isabellinus) the top of the head, nape and back are grayish clayey, the forehead is yellowish-buffy, the ear coverts are black, the narrow stripe under the eye and the spot in front of the eye are black, behind the eye is a white spot. Flight feathers are brownish with buffy edges, and the bases of primary flight feathers are buffy-white and form a small "mirror", partly covered with brown coverts of the racemes. The uppertail is reddish, the tail is reddish with a brown bloom towards the end. Throat, chest, abdomen and sides are light buffy. The adult female is almost indistinguishable from the male, but in general it is lighter above, and paler below - dirty-white, with an ocher tinge, dark spots on the sides of the head are brown, not black, the spot behind the eye is not white, but whitish-ocher. The bill is brownish-horny, lighter at the base of the mandible. Legs are brownish, eyes are brownish. Juveniles in nesting plumage are variegated. Brown transverse streaks are developed on their head and upper tail, covering the wings with light centers, brown pre-apical stripes and light rims.The red-tailed shrike reaches a length of 17.5 cm. Males weigh from 30 to 38 g, females weigh from 31 to 33 g.

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Scope of distribution red-tailed shrike stretches from Kazakhstan and Iran to the north of China and Mongolia. It inhabits the steppe and desert zones of the Central and Eastern Palaearctic, occurs in saxaul forests with clearings, the outskirts of floodplain forests, shrub and reed thickets and forest belts, rises up the mountains to an altitude of 3,500 m above sea level. The wintering regions are located in eastern Africa, Iraq and northwest India. During the migration period, the dun shrike prefers open areas, as well as steppes, grassy savannas and sometimes also high-mountain ranges. The Buck Shrike arrives early, earlier than other shrikes, in mid-February - early March, singly or in loose groups of 3-5 birds.

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