Information on the Eastern Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator niloticus) is not so easy to come by on the internet and as a result I am posting a few details of this eastern sub-species of Woodchat Shrike here.
Identification is fairly straightforward on spring/summer males with the lores and feathers next the nostrils white and an otherwise broad black forehead and a line through the eyes and ear-coverts, extending down the sides of the neck. The crown, nape and hind neck are a bright chestnut contrasting with the back black which shades into a grey rump. The upper tail-coverts are white and although the tail has black central feathers they have broad white bases measuring 25 – 35 mm in length.
The tips to each feather are white, although this may be difficult to see on the central tail feathers, and the white on the tail base increases until the outermost feather is all white with a small black patch on the inner web. The scapulars are white with the wing-feathers black except for a broad white patch at the base of all the primaries measuring about 17 – 20mm in length from the primary coverts on the closed wing.
The female niloticus often has no black on the face even in adult plumage. Juveniles shown extensive moult of the body feathers, particularly the median and greater coverts on migration, with the equivalent moult in the nominate race senator occurring on the wintering grounds after migration. They are normally paler than nominate with greyer upper-parts. Birds average smaller to the west of their range and larger to the east.
As it is quite distinct and I suppose is a possibility as a vagrant in southern Europe or elsewhere it is worth looking out for if you bird these areas as it has been a very good spring for this species in Saudi Arabia so far with many more birds seen than normal and birds arriving slightly earlier than the previous year at least.
You may also like:
Leave a Comment
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- Join the 1st World Giraffe Day and help save these gentle giants » [773 Views]
- Shot Egyptian vulture leads conservationists to bizarre black-market for bird parts » [601 Views]
- Cuckoos’ shameless egg-laying tactics revealed » [458 Views]
- Japan kills 30 minke whales in first hunt since UN court order » [441 Views]
- POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue? » [428 Views]
- Albatross Internet Darling Takes First Flight » [366 Views]
- Elachuridae: Ornithologists Describe New Family of Passerine Birds » [349 Views]
- Threatened Species ‘Red List’ Warns 90 Percent of Lemur Species Face Extinction » [315 Views]
- Video: Polar Bear Cam Provides Unique View into Arctic Life » [314 Views]
- Video: Horseshoe Crabs Mate in Annual Beach “Orgy” » [311 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should the Slaughter of Grouse be allowed to continue? » [33741 Views]
- POLL: Should bear hunting be banned in the US? » [27993 Views]
- Massive Bird Slaughter Around the Mediterranean – Shocking Photos » [12168 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s shameful tiger farms be closed down? » [12096 Views]
- Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa – Shocking Video » [9855 Views]
- POLL: Should the Faroe Islands’ whale slaughter be allowed to continue? » [7860 Views]
- POLL: Should the fox-hunting laws in the UK be relaxed? » [6998 Views]
- Trophy Hunting in Africa – Wildlife Slaughter in Graphic Images » [5524 Views]
- POLL: Should the Dolphin Slaughter in Taiji Cove be stopped? » [5269 Views]
- Wildlife Photography – Ethics and Conservation Issues? » [5096 Views]