Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Bay-backed shrike

In Thai: นกอีเสือหลังแดงตะโพกเทา, nok e-seua lang daeng taphok thao

Binomial name: Lanius vittatus, Achille Valenciennes, 1826

The bay-backed shrike (Lanius vittatus) is a member of the bird family Laniidae, the shrikes, resident in South Asia.


It is smallish shrike at 17 cm, maroon-brown above with a pale rump and long black tail with white edges. The underparts are white, but with buff flanks.

The crown and nape are grey, with a typical shrike black bandit mask through the eye. There is a small white wing patch, and the bill and legs are dark grey.

Sexes are similar, but young birds are washed-out versions of the adults.

Habits and habitat

The bay-backed shrike has a characteristic upright "shrike" attitude perched on a bush, from which it sallies after lizards, large insects, small birds and rodents.

Prey may be impaled upon a sharp point, such as a thorn. Thus secured they can be ripped with the strong hooked bill, but its feet are not suited for tearing.

It is a widespread resident breeder in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India, and has recently been recorded from Sri Lanka. It nests in bushes in scrubby areas and cultivation, laying 3-5 eggs.

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Scientific classification

Lanius vittatus

Common names

  • Thai: นกอีเสือหลังแดงตะโพกเทา, nok e-seua lang daeng taphok thao

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Bay-backed shrike, Lanius vittatus in Thailand
  • Ban Lat District, Phetchaburi
  • Laem Pak Bia
Range map of Lanius vittatus in Thailand