Brown Shrike

Scientific Name: Lanius cristatus

Malay Name: Tirjup Biasa

Chinese Name: 红尾伯劳

Range: Found from Siberia, Northeast China, Northern Japan to Korea, wintering to the Indian Subcontinent, Southern China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: cristatus, confusus, lucionensis, superciliosus.

Local Subspecies: cristatus, confusus, lucionensis, superciliosus

Size: 19-20.5 cm

Identification: Individuals of subspecies confusus are brown overall, have chestnut-wash flanks, dark black eye-stripe and thin white supercilium. L. cristatus lucionensis shows a slate-grey supercilium and crown with a dark black eye-stripe. L. c. superciliosus shows a brownish-red nape and mantle, thicker and white supercilium and a very strongly contrasting black eyestripe. L. c. cristatus is very similar to confusus.

Similar looking species: Tiger Shrike, Long-tailed Shrike, Large Woodshrike

Habitat: Open and non-forest habitats like parks and grasslands.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds on insects, reptiles, small birds and rodents. Prefers more open habitats while Tiger Shrike prefers more wooded areas.

Local Status: Common migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Any patch of suitable habitat.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Brown Shrike Lanius cristatus
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Nov 05-Nov 11
Early date 05 Jul 2023
Late date 28 Jun 2019
One of the commonest migrant species in Singapore, but the lucionensis (with grey-washed crown) and superciliosus (with rich cinnamon on nape and crown) races deserve special attention.


BirdLife International. (2016). Lanius cristatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Wells, D. R. (1999). The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula (Vol. 1). Academic Press, London.

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