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White-tailed Shrike | Lanioturdus torquatus

The White-tailed Shrike is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Maloconotidae bird family group which includes birds such as Bush-shrikes, Puffbacks, Tchagras, Boubous, Helment-shrikes, Batises, Wattle-eyes.

The description for the White-tailed Shrike (Latin name Lanioturdus torquatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Lanioturdus torquatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 752 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 712. You will find a picture of the White-tailed Shrike on page 721.

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.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the White-tailed Shrike between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The White-tailed Shrike is known in Afrikaans as Kortstertlaksman.

The White-tailed Shrike is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Lanioturdus torquatus can be found in other parts of the world.

The White-tailed Shrike has a height of 15 cms and weighs around 26 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Lanioturdus torquatus has a white coloured throat, black legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are yellow.

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 yellow

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is white

Back is black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The White-tailed Shrike is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.

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

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The White-tailed 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 3 eggs and they are coloured grey.

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

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

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The White-tailed Shrike is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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