479. Lanius isabellinus.
The Pale-brown Shrike.
Lanius isabellinus, Ehrenb. Symb. Phys., Aves, fol. e, note (1828); Wald. Ibis, 1867, p. 224, partim.; Hume, Cat. no. 262; Gadow, Cat. B. M. viii, p. 277; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 433; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 146. Lanius arenarius, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xv, p. 304 (1846); Jerd. B. I. i, p. 407; Wald. Ibis, 1867, p. 223; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 183, pl. iii; Hume, S. F. i, p. 174; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 464; Scully, S. F. iv, p. 137.
Coloration. Crown, nape, hind neck, back, scapulars, upper rump, and lesser wing-coverts ashy brown with a tinge of rufous; forehead pale rufous ; lower rump and upper tail-coverts rather bright rufous ; tail dull rufous ; feathers at base of upper mandible, lores, and eyebrow fulvous-white; a spot in front of the eye and the ear-coverts black; entire lower plumage pale fulvous, tinged with rosy buff on the flanks in freshly moulted birds; wings brown edged with fulvous, the primaries with a white spot at base barely visible beyond the primary-coverts.
The young is pale fulvous, the upper plumage closely barred with black and the lower with some wavy cross-bars.
Iris dark brown ; bill dark brown, horny flesh-colour below except tip of lower mandible; legs and feet slaty black (Butler).
Length 7.5 ; tail 3.4; wing 3.6 ; tarsus .9 ; bill from gape .85.
Some birds, apparently adult, have the ear-coverts brown. This character does not, however, appear to be sexual.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the north-west portion of the Empire, where it is found from August or September to March. This species has been observed as far east as Mughal Sarai, near Benares, and south to Cutch, Kattywar, Seoni, and Raipur.
In winter it extends to Afghanistan, Persia, Arabia, and portions of north-east Africa. In summer it is found in Turkestan and Kashghar, where it breeds.