Common Fiscal | Lanius collaris
The Common Fiscal is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Laniidae bird family group which includes birds such as Typical Shrikes.
The description for the Common Fiscal (Latin name Lanius collaris) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Lanius collaris can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 732 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 728. You will find a picture of the Common Fiscal 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.
This bird is known as Fiscal Shrike in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Common Fiscal between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Common Fiscal is known in Afrikaans as Fiskaallaksman.
The Common Fiscal has a height of 23 cms and weighs around 40 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured black. The Lanius collaris has a white coloured throat, black legs and a blue, grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.
The male Lanius collaris has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
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 white
Back is blue, grey
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
The Lanius collaris attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The Common Fiscal eats the eggs of its victim.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
The Lanius collaris forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Common Fiscal 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 1 to 5 eggs and they are coloured green, cream.
The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.
The Common Fiscal is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.
The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The Common Fiscal is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
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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