Magpie Shrike (Long Tailed Shrike)| Corvinella melanoleuca

Robert's Birding Information: Magpie (African Longtailed) Shrike

The Magpie Shrike is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Laniidae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Shrikes.African Long Tailed (Magpie) Shrike

The description for the Magpie Shrike (Latin name Corvinella melanoleuca) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Corvinella melanoleuca can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 735 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 729. You will find a picture of the Magpie Shrike on page 752.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.African Magpie Long Tailed Shrike

This bird is known as Long-tailed Shrike in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Magpie Shrike between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Magpie Shrike is known in Afrikaans as Langstertlaksman.

The Magpie Shrike has a height of 50 cms and weighs around 80 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Corvinella melanoleuca has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Corvinella melanoleuca has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.African (Long Tailed) Magpie Shrike

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is black.

Back is black.

Magpie (African Long Tailed) Shrike Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Magpie Shrike is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The Corvinella melanoleuca forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Magpie (African Long Tailed) Shrike Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Magpie Shrike is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 5 eggs and they are coloured cream.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Magpie Shrike is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Magpie (African Longtailed) Shrike is normally seen singly, however they do occur in pairs and small flocks on occassion.