469. Lanius lahtora.
The Indian Grey Shrike.
Collurio lahtora, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 86 ; Gray & Hardw. Ill. Ind. Zool. ii, pl. 32 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 174; id. N. & F. p. 165. Lanius lahtora (Sykes), Blyth, Cat. p. 151 ; Horsf. & M. Cat. i, p. 163 ; Jerd. B. I. i, p. 400; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 235; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 462; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 209; Hume, Cat. no. 256; Barnes, S. F. ix, p. 216; Gadow, Cat. B. M. viii, p. 252; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 143; Oates in Hume's N. & F. 2nd ed. i. p. 306.
Dudiya latora, Hind. ; Safed latora, Hind, in the N. W.; Kach-kacha-lafora, Beng.; Chinka bellinchi, Pedda kiriti-gadu, Tel.
Coloration. Forehead, lores, and a broad band through the eye and ear-coverts down the side of the neck black, the frontal portion indistinctly margined with white above; upper plumage bluish grey, paler on the rump and upper tail-coverts ; scapulars white ; the middle two pairs of tail-feathers black with narrow white tips ; the next two pairs very narrowly white at base and broadly white at tip ; the outer two pairs white, with the shafts and some small portions of the webs near them black ; wing-coverts black, the lesser series tipped with grey ; primaries with the basal half white, the terminal half black with narrow white tips ; secondaries with the outer webs black, tipped white, the inner webs white except at the base, where they are black; tertiaries black with white tips ; the whole lower plumage pure white.
Iris dark brown ; legs, feet, and bill black (Butler).
Length about 10; tail 4.6; wing 4.3; tarsus 1.15 ; bill from gape 1.05.
The amount of black on the forehead and white on the tail in¬creases with age. The amount of white on the wing appears to be constant at all ages.
Distribution. A permanent resident in the plains of India from Sind and the Punjab to the Bajmehal Hills, Manbhoom and Lohardugga in Western Bengal; to the south this species does not appear to be found further than Belgaum, from which part Butler records it, and Chanda in the Central Provinces, where Blanford met with it. It is confined to the plains and does not ascend the Himalayas nor any of the hill-ranges. It extends into Afghanistan.
Habits, &c. Breeds according to locality from January to August, constructing a very massive nest of varied materials in trees in open plains. The eggs, varying in number from three to six, measure about 1.03 by .79.