(720) Lanius cristatus lucionensis.
The Philippine Shrike.
Lanius lucionensis Linn., S. N., ed. xii, p. 135 (1766) (Luzon); Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 469.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Differs from the Brown Shrike in having the whole anterior crown grey and the posterior crown grey shading into the red of the hack; the under surface is generally a darker fulvous, though this varies greatly.
Colours of soft parts as in the Brown Shrike.
Measurements. Wing 87 to 92 mm.; tail 77 to 89 mm.; tarsus about 24 to 25 mm.; culmen about 15 mm.
Young and Nestlings may at all stages be separated from L. c. cristatus by the greyer head.
Distribution. Summer, Eastern Siberia and Eastern China, Corea and Manchuria. Winter, South China, Burma, Indo-Chinese countries, Philippines, Malay Peninsula, Andamans, Nicobars, etc.
Nidification. Mr. J. D. La Touche took many nests of this Shrike both at Chinkiang and in N.E. Chihli. He describes them as " large stout cups composed of downy grass tops, feathers, twigs, grass-stems and, in two cases, to a great extent, of pheasants' feathers, said to have been all placed in trees at some distance from the ground." The breeding-season is June and July. Four seems to be the maximum number laid, and generally only three. They are like small, pale and rather grey types of eggs of the Bed-backed Shrike but show much less variation in tint of ground-colour than is usual in Shrikes' eggs, this being almost invariably a very pale yellowish or greenish white. Fifty eggs average 20.0 x 16.4: maxima 23.6 X 17.8 mm.; minima 20.8 x 17.2 and 22.4 x 16.0 mm.
Habits. They are, according to La Touche, very voracious birds and he says he has seen them with a locust held in each foot and one in the bill. He succeeded in rearing young birds in captivity, the young male uttering a very sweet song before it was a year old.