Magpie Shrike

Magpie shrike

Scientific Name:
Corvinella melanoleuca

Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland

Savannah, semi-arid woodlands, riparian edges

Average Size:
Body Length: 18 inches from head to tail
Weight: 2-5 oz


IUCN Status:
Least Concern (LC)

Wild: Invertebrates, lizards, small mammals, fruit
Zoo: Mice, rainforest diet

Incubation: 16-20 days
Clutch size: 3-5 eggs

Magpie Shrike Range

About the Animal:
The lovely birds are gregarious and noisy, preferring to live in flocks. They take their common name from their black and white coloring, which resembles that of a magpie.

Mating and Reproduction: 
Courtship includes dancing and flight displays. The male will offer food to the female. If she accepts, it indicates that she is receptive to breeding. Eggs are laid in a cup-shaped nest. Incubation lasts about 3 weeks. Both parents feed the chicks, occasionally assisted by offspring from previous seasons.

Amazing Information: 
Shrike are known for creating “larders” of dead prey items. Because they have small beaks, they must let their food soften a bit before eating. They will impale prey on acacia tree thorns and leave it to hang and rot slightly, softening it enough to eat.

Where in the Zoo:
You can see the Magpie Shrikes in the Tropical Rainforest Building