715. Lanius schach canieeps

(715) Lanius schach caniceps Blyth.
Lanius schach caniceps, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 296.
South of the range of the preceding bird this Shrike breeds, everywhere to the extreme South of India and in Ceylon. On the East, even with the material supplied by the recent Vernay Expedi¬tion, its distribution has not yet been fully worked out, and it is possibly a much rarer bird in the East than in the West.
Nests and eggs of this race of Shrike are so identically similar to those of the last bird that it is difficult to say anything of the one that does not apply to the former.
Miss Cockburn says that in the Nilgiris she has seen nests with a base made of large pieces of rags or bits of old carpet, but doubt¬less the Northern bird, when such items are handy, would also use them. So, too, Davison mentions paper as an item in one nest but, though it has not been recorded, paper also has often formed part of the nests of many Northern birds.
One difference between the two races is that the Southern birds select bushes as sites for their nests far more often than do their cousins. Carter says that in the Nilgiris “this species breeds in April and May, placing its nest in large shrubs, orange-trees, and other low trees which are thick and leafy.”
Davison says that they breed “in bushes or trees at about 6 to 20 feet from the ground ; a thorny, thick bush is generally preferred, Berberis asiatica being a favourite.”
In Ceylon, also, where they sometimes breed in the gardens, they are said to often select low thorny bushes for the purpose.
In the Nilgiris this Shrike breeds in April and May (Carter) ; March to July (Wait) ; February and March (Miss Cockburn).
In Ceylon it apparently breeds from December to May, while in Travancore Stewart took a fine series of eggs in April and May.
No separate description of its eggs is needed, for they cannot be distinguished from those of the preceding bird. It should, however, be recorded that I have never seen any eggs of this bird of the red type.
One hundred eggs average 22.6 x 18.0 mm. (this is, of course, considerably smaller than those of erythronotus) : maxima 24.9 x 19.2 mm. : minima 20.0 x 18.1 and 20.4 x 16.8 mm.
Again I can trace no records as to incubation, nest-building etc., although the cock bird is known to be an admirable father and husband, protecting both wife and young with the greatest pluck against all marauders, mammal and avian, no matter what their size.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
715. Lanius schach canieeps
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Sourn Grey Backed Shrike
Lanius schach caniceps
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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