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Bird Sightings : Hebrides : Brown Shrike



Awaiting image for this species



Brown Shrike

Lanius cristatus


  • Brown Shrike
  • Lanius cristatus
  • UK: Less than 20 records BTO
  • UK: Rare vagrant
  • WI: One record? TBC
  • Breeds: Nests in tree or bush. Lays 2-6 eggs. Central & eastern Asia
  • Winters: Africa, SE Asia, Indonesia
  • Habitat: taiga (moist subarctic coniferous forest begins where tundra ends), pen woodland, deciduous forest, scrub, savanna, farmland, semi-desert
  • Diet: Hunts from high perch. Mainly insects (mostly. beetles) also small mammals, birds, lizards. Like other shrikes impales corpses on thorns or barbed wire as a larder
  • Small shrike. Long-tailed. Perches upright. Adult male's above & crown darkish-brown. White face has black mask through eye. Yellowish-buff below
  • Similar birds: Red-backed Shrike, Isabelline Shrike


The Brown Shrike was officially split from the Isabelline Shrikes and the Red-backed Shrike in 1980
The first British record accepted by the rarities committee occured in Shetland in 1980

The Brown Shrike is isually similar to the Isabelline Shrike but browner above, it's tail is also browner (rather than reddish-brown) and is the same colour as the mantle. Unlike Isabelline Shikes there is no white at the base of the primaries.


Brown Shrike records in the Western Isles

(Very rare visitor) One record? TBC
Vallay Strand, North Uist 18th November, 2008

The chart below shows how abundant the Brown Shrike is during a month or when you are more likely to see it.















(Not on the Outer Hebrides Birds Checklist)


Other local bird photographs

Sources of information for the bird sightings section

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