Yellow-billed Shrikes

Shrikes


The Yellow-billed Shrike (Corvinella corvina) is a small passerine bird in the shrike family. It is sometimes known as Long-tailed Shrike but this is to be discouraged since it invites confusion with the Long-tailed Shrike, Lanius schach, of tropical southern Asia.


Distribution / Range:

The Yellow-billed Shrike is a common resident breeding bird in tropical Africa from Senegal east to Uganda. It frequents forest and other habitats with trees.


Breeding / Nesting:

The nest is a cup structure in a bush or tree into which four or five eggs are laid. Only one female in a group breeds at a given time, with other members providing protection and food.


Description:

The Yellow-billed Shrike is 18cm long with a long tail and short wings. The adult has mottled brown upperparts and streaked buff underparts. There is a brown eye mask and a rufous wing patch, and the bill is yellow. Males and females look alike, but immatures show buff fringes to the wing feathers.

This is a conspicuous and gregarious bird, always seen in groups, often lined up on telephone wires. It is noisy, with harsh swee-swee and dreee-too calls.


Diet / Feeding:

The Yellow-billed Shrike feeds on insects which it locates from prominent look-out perches in trees, wires or posts.


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