481. Lanius cristatus.
The Brown Shrike.
Lanius cristatus, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 134; Jerd, B. I. i, p. 406; Wald. Ibis, 1867, p. 212 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 175; id. 8c Henders. Lah. to Yark. p 182: Butler, S. F. iii, p. 464; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 645; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 377; Hume, Cat. no. 261; Gadow, Cat. B. M. viii, p. 271 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 252; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 145 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 92 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. i, p. 320. Lanius phoenicurus, Pall. Reis. Russ. Reichs, iii, p. 693 (1776) ; Wald. Ibis, 1867, p. 216, pi. v, fig. 2. Enneoctonus cristatus (Linn.), Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 167.
Kakhati, Beng.; Kher Khetta, Hind.; Batti gadu, Batti-kiriti-gadu, Tel.; Hnet-beloo, Burm.
Coloration. Forehead and a well-defined supercilium white, more or less pure according to age; upper plumage and lesser wing-coverts reddish brown, purer and brighter red on the crown, nape, and sides of the neck ; median and greater coverts and quills dark brown margined with rufous; tail reddish brown with pale tips ; cheeks, chin, and throat white ; remainder of lower plumage fulvous.
Perfect adults have no bars on either the upper or the lower plumage, but such unbarred birds are comparatively rare; the majority have traces of bars on the breast and flanks. Nestlings are profusely barred with dark brown on every portion of the plumage and the eye-band is brown. It takes two or more years for this bird to attain mature plumage.
The upper mandible in front of the nostrils and the tip of the lower dark horn; remainder of the bill pale bluish ; mouth flesh-colour ; iris dark brown ; eyelids plumbeous ; legs bluish brown ; claws black.
Length about 7.5; tail 3.5; wing 3.4; tarsus 1; bill from gape .9.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the whole of the Empire except that portion lying to the west of a line roughly drawn from the Sutlej valley to Mount Abu ; Ceylon; the Andamans.
Although a winter visitor to India, there is evidence to show that this Shrike in some cases remains in portions of the Empire throughout the year. There are numerous specimens in the Hume Collection killed in the Andamans throughout the summer months. There is also in the British Museum a young bird killed at Ahmednagar in the Bombay Presidency on the 19 th August which looks as if it had been bred in India. The nest of this species has not yet been discovered within our limits, but it may not improbably be found on the higher ranges of the Himalayas, if not in some portions of the plains.
In winter this Shrike is also found in Cochin China and Siam, the Malay peninsula and Southern China. In summer it is spread over Tibet, Mongolia, and portions of Siberia.
L. superciliosus is closely allied to the present species, but it has the forehead and supercilium white, very plainly defined from the other parts of the head, and the whole upper plumage a rich chestnut. Hume is of opinion that this species is merely a stage of L. cristatus, but it appears to me to be a very distinct species confined to Japan, China, and the Malay peninsula and never found even in Burma.