Large Woodshrike

Large Woodshrike
Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis virgatus hainanus, Jianfengling National Forest Park, Hainan, China, February. (Craig Brelsford)

Large Woodshrike Tephrodornis virgatus ranges India to China and Greater Sundas. In China, jugans resident southwest Yunnan, latouchei western Fujian to Yunnan, and hainanus Hainan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Broadleaved forests and forest clearings, to 1500 m (4,920 ft.). Often in groups, usually high in canopy. Swoops after flying insects, sometimes taking them from surface of water. ID & COMPARISON Male has grey crown and nape and black mask; upperparts (except white rump) coffee-brown. Underparts white, with grey to buff wash on breast. Female has browner crown, less distinct mask, and more buff on underparts. Juvenile has pale fringes and black markings above (reminiscent of juvenile Brown Shrike). BARE PARTS Iris pale yellow to brown. Bill strong and hooked, black; pale in juvenile. Feet black. VOICE Loud, clear, fast whistles, sometimes descending. Harsh, grating calls. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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