Lanius macrourus Linnaeus, 1766, Senegal. Seven subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Coliou huppй; German: Blaunacken-Mausvogel; Spanish: Pбjaro-ratуn Nuquiazul.
12.6–15.7 in (32–39.8 cm); 1.2–2.2 oz (34–62 g). Ash-gray plumage; upperparts darker than underparts; turquoise-blue patch on nape and hindneck. Long crest and very long, slender tail. Female’s tail is shorter than male’s.
Western Africa from south Mauritania to Somalia and Tanzania.
Open woodland and savanna, often spreading in wetter seasons to breed, but moving to water-courses during the dry season.
Pairs separated for breeding are afterwards observed in family parties, and sometimes in large concentrations near rivers in the dry season.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Fruits and other green matter, especially dependent on Salvadora berries; more recently observed feeding in human cultivations.
Fragile nests, eggs white with red-brown dots, streaks, and patches, clutches two to three eggs. Newly hatched young are naked with characteristic bulbous swellings at base of lower mandible. Grow quickly, flying after 16–18 days.
Not threatened and obviously expanding into western Africa, following the introduction of cultivated plants.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Not yet regarded as pests.
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