10 Species of Shirke Birds Found in India

Shrike birds from the family of Laniidae are also known as butcherbirds because of their feeding habits, There are 10 shrike species found in India. The Shrike birds are known for their way of eating lizards by impaling their bodies on thorns.

Long-tailed Shrike


The long-tailed shrike (Lanius schach) birds are found widely across India and Asia with some plumage variations in the ranges. Rufous-backed shrike have a black mask and forehead and have a long and narrow black tail.

Brown Shrike


The brown shrike (Lanius cristatus) found mainly in Asia and known as butcher birds because of their feeding habits. They breeds in northern Asia and is a migratory species, Like other shrike species they also impale prey on thorns.

Grey-backed Shrike

The grey-backed shrike (Lanius tephronotus) species breeds from Kashmir to northeast India, Like other species of shrike birds they are mainly sit and wait over the branches and trees while looking for moving prey, such as lizards, small rodents and grasshoppers.

Bay-backed Shrike

The bay-backed shrike (Lanius vittatus) is a small shrike bird with white wing patch and long black tail with white edges. Shrike birds feeds on small lizards, large insects and rodents, also upon small birds and birds babies.

Great Grey Shrike


The great grey shrike (Lanius excubitor) migrate to India in winter and also known as greater butcher-bird in English regions. Indian species of great grey shrike is a large bird from the shrike family with pale gray in color with black mask.

Steppe Grey Shrike

The steppe grey shrike (Lanius excubitor pallidirostris) is a very rare winter visitors of India, classified as a subspecies of the great grey shrike and native to Central Asia. Little Rann of Kutch is one of the few places in India where one can also spot Red-tailed shrike,Woodchat Shrike and other lesser known species of shrike birds.

Iberian Grey Shrike

Iberian grey shrike is very much similar to great grey shrike with some differences like slightly smaller and darker. It is slightly smaller than the great grey shrike and are also known as butcher birds and eats large insects, small birds and rodents.

Red-backed Shrike

The red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio) is migratory bird with upper parts is reddish and black stripe through the eye. Great Rann of Kutch in Gujarat is one of the known place in India where this species appear in some areas.

Burmese Shrike

Burmese shrike’s (Lanius collurioides) natural habitats are tropical lowland forest and montane forest, found mainly in Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Red-tailed Shrike

Red-tailed shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides) or Turkestan shrike is also a medium-sized passerine migratory shrike bird and an annual visitors of Gujarat.

The woodchat shrike (Lanius senator) is a migratory bird and an annual visitor to Indian state of Maharashtra. There is a photograph captured showing the presence of Woodchat Shrike in the state and also first known record from the Indian subcontinent.

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