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magpie shrike

Birds of Namibia

Introduction: Magpie shrikes (Corvinella melanoleuca) are also known as long-tailed shrikes. They inhabit open savannah woodland with short grass, bare ground and scattered trees. Parks with lawns also attract the magpie shrike, usually in groups of 3 to 12 birds.

Distribution: Rundu, Etosha National Park, Zambezi Region (formerly the Caprivi Strip), Kaudom Game Park, Tsumkwe.

Diet: Flies down from perch to search ground for grasshoppers, beetles, large grubs, spiders, ticks, reptiles, fruit, rotting meat and mice.

Description: Large shrike with very long, graduated tails. Corvinella is the Latin equivalent for ' a small crow'. Black body with bluish gloss, white lower back and pale grey rump. Black tail, with small white spot.

Breeding: Both male and female build a large bulky cup made of roots and twigs from September to February. 2 to 6 eggs are laid and incubated for about 16 days.

Size: 29cm. Tail: 29cm. Weight: 80g.

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