Bay Backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)

The Bay Backed Shrike is a small bird, about 6 inches in length and is a widespread resident in the Indian subcontinent.

It is a fearsome hunter, going after lizards, large insects, small birds and rodents. When caught, it often impales its prey on a thorny bush and shreds it with its strong, hooked beak before eating. It’s upright pose when scanning for prey on an exposed tree branch is a fascinating sight.

It has a distinctive black facial mask over its eyes, giving it the appearance of a bandit. It is found singly or in groups and they are known to keep to fixed territories that they aggressively defend when threatened.

The male is known to have a lively call, much like a warble, and they can surprisingly imitate other bird sounds too.

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