Isabelline Shrike

Lanius isabellinus  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Lanius isabellinus

Name:  Isabelline Shrike

    Local Names:
  • Gujarati     રેતિયો લટોરો, લાલ પૂંછ લટોરો
  • Malayalam     ചുവപ്പു വാലൻ ഷ്രൈക്
  • Marathi     लाल शेपटीचा खाटीक
  • French     Pie-grièche isabelle
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The isabelline shrike (Lanius isabellinus) is a small-sized shrike, measuring 17 to 18 cm in length and weighing 25 to 34 grams. The adult isabelline shrike has sandy brown plumage. The tail is long and rusty in color. The lore is gray colored and extends beyond the eye. The supercilium is whitish. The back and wings are darker. The bill is metal gray and the tip of the upper mandible is hooked. The irises are blackish. The legs and feet are blackish.

Size in cm:

17-17 cm

Size in Inch

7-7 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

white   (Bird may have more colors)


The diet of these isabelline shrike species consists mainly of insects. Insects, insect larvae, spiders, beetles and termites are their primary food. They hunt from prominent perches. They often impale the prey on thorns, before eating.

Habit and habited:

Like other shrikes, searches for prey from a vantage point, such as the top of a bush or small tree, or wire. Open dry scrub.


The call of these species is a rapid, repeated keck..keck..keck sound.

Bird Type:

Perching Birds

These isabelline shrike species are distributed in India, these species are distributed in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
The genus name, Lanius, is derived from the Latin word for "butcher", and some shrikes are also known as "butcher birds" because of their feeding habits. The common name is from the specific isabellinus, New Latin for "greyish-yellow" probably named for Isabella I of Castile, said to have promised not to change her undergarments until Spain was freed from the Moors.[2] The common English name "shrike" is from Old English scríc, "shriek", referring to the shrill call.
The plumage is isabelline, the sandy colour which gives rise to its name. It has a red tail. Young birds can be distinguished from young red-backed shrikes by the much sparser vermiculations on the underparts.
This migratory medium-sized passerine eats large insects, small birds, rodents and lizards. Like other shrikes it hunts from prominent perches, and impales corpses on thorns or barbed wire as a larder. It breeds in open cultivated country, preferably with thorn bushes.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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