(715) Lanius schach caniceps.
The Southern Grey-backed Shrike.
Lanius caniceps Blyth, J. A. S. B., xv, p. 302 (1846) (South India). Lanius erythronotus. Blanf. & Oates, i, p. 464 (part.).
Vernacular names. (Same as for the last bird.)
Description. Differs from the Northern Rufous-backed Shrike in having no trace of rufous on the upper back.
Measurements. "Wing 87 to 95 mm.; tail 110 to 119 mm.; tarsus 28 to 29 mm.; culmen 18 to 19 mm.
Young birds and Nestlings are not separable from those of the last bird but are generally less rufous.
Distribution. Ceylon and South India as far North as Bombay and Poona in the West and the mouths of the Godavary River on the East. Over a very large area in Central India the birds are intermediate between the two races, varying very much individually.
Nidification. Similar to that of the last bird. The breeding-season in Ceylon seems to be February and March, in Travancore March and April, and in the Deccan May, June and July, but eggs may also be found in many other months. The eggs are in no way distinguishable from those of the Northern form, though red eggs seem to be most exceptional and I have seen none such. One hundred eggs average 22.6 x 18.0 mm.: maxima 24.9 x 19.2 mm.; minima 20.0 X 18.1 and 20.6 x 16.8.
Habits differ in no way from those of the preceding bird.