Red-backed Shrike ( Lanius collurio, family: Laniidae)

red backed shrike kruger national park birds The Red-backed Shrike (Latin name Lanius collurio) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 733 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 725 also a picture of the Red-backed Shrike on page 752. The Red-backed Shrike belongs to the family of birds classified as Laniidae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Red-backed Shrike is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common summer visitor

In terms of distribution of the Red-backed Shrike in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Red-backed Shrike : see above distribution map.

The Red-backed Shrike.

Red Backed Shrike Kruger ParkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Red-backed Shrike is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Red-backed Shrike is about 18 cms and its weight is about 29 gms

The male and female Red-backed Shrike have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is blue, grey.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is grey.
  • Throat is white, grey.
  • Back is blue, grey.
  • Legs are grey.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Red-backed Shrike feeds on the ground mainly

Other Birds


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Red-backed Shrike takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Red-backed Shrike is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are in colour and number unknown

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Red-backed Shrike are: woodlands

You will normally see the Red-backed Shrike by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Ihlolo

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Rooiruglaksman

German ... Neuntter

Portuguese ... Picano-de-dorso-ruivo

French ... Pie-griche corcheur

Dutch ... Grauwe Klauwier

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 733

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,