Family Shrikes (Laniidae)

Least Concern

Red-tailed Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)


French: Pie-grièche du Turkestan German: Rotschwanzwürger Spanish: Alcaudón colirrojo
Other common names: Turkestan Shrike, Rufous-tailed Shrike

Otomela phoenicuroides


, 1875,

Shymkent, south Kazakhstan


See L. collurio (above). Until recently, usually treated as conspecific with L. isabellinus, but differs in its tawny-rufous vs pale greyish crown (2); darker sandy-grey upperparts and tail (1); bold vs indistinct white supercilium and strong white vs buffy underparts (2); different wing formula (1); and different migration route and moult regime#R (1); vocalizations also said to differ somewhat. Proposed race karelini (Syr Darya to Turkmenistan), grey above (including crown) and very pale below, might be a hybrid form representing introgressed populations between present species and L. collurio#R#R; further investigation needed. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C & E Kazakhstan S to Transcaspia, NE, E & S Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan (N and probably W of R Indus) and extreme NW China (NW Xinjiang); non-breeding mainly Arabia and NE & E Africa, with some in W Africa.

Descriptive notes

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Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. (2017). Red-tailed Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 December 2017).