Quantcast
Mar 252012
 

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.

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator niloticus) – Second calendar year male

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.

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator niloticus) – Second calendar year female

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.

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator niloticus) – Second calendar year female

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.

Tail Pattern of Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator niloticus) – Second calendar year female

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.

Primary Patch of Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator niloticus) – Second calendar year female

Share on social media:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblr
Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington

Jem Babbington is a keen birder and amateur photographer located in Dhahran, Eastern Saudi Arabia where he goes birding every day. Jem was born in England and is a serious local patch and local area birder who has been birding for almost forty years and has birded in more than fifty countries. Jem is learning to ring birds in Bahrain as a perfect way to learn more about the birds of the area. Saudi Arabia is a very much under-watched and under-recorded country.

Leave a Comment


Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [10289 Views]
  2. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8271 Views]
  3. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [7523 Views]
  4. POLL: Should the killing of giraffes be outlawed? [4382 Views]
  5. POLL: Should the sale of elephant ivory be legalized? [3724 Views]
  6. POLL: Should the use of snares be banned in the UK? [2481 Views]
  7. POLL: Should the coyote continue to be exterminated? [2340 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the killing of animals by Wildlife Services be stopped? [1579 Views]
  9. POLL: Should spear hunting of bears be banned? [1371 Views]
  10. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [1293 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [41795 Views]
  2. POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [15267 Views]
  3. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [12494 Views]
  4. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [10339 Views]
  5. POLL: Should hare coursing be banned in Ireland? [9992 Views]
  6. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8271 Views]
  7. POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [7790 Views]
  8. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [7613 Views]
  9. POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7009 Views]
  10. POLL: Should Africa’s poachers be shot on sight? [6838 Views]