From Birds of Malaysia

by Jean Delacour (1947)

[Including distribution notes from A Handlist of Malaysian Birds by Frederick Nutter Chasen (1935)]

Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)

Adult: Head varies from gray to chestnut rufous, the mantle from brownish gray to rufous. Black band on sides of head; forehead and eyebrows white. Throat white; underparts buffy rufous; wing-coverts and tertiaries bordered with whitish gray or brown. Juvenile plumage (retained for a full year): Face, breast, and flanks mottled with black ; some mottling on head and back.

A migratory species nesting in central and northern Asia, Sakhalin, and Japan, migrating in winter to India, Indo-China, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Most common. Four subspecies occur in Malaysia as winter visitors:

L. c. lucionensis: the male with head gray, back grayish brown, indistinct white eyebrows; female browner. Breeds in eastern Siberia, Korea, and Manchuria. Winters: Malay States, Sumatra & Borneo.

L. c. cristatus: breeds farther west and north and visits mostly Malaya and Borneo. Redder all over ; head reddish rufous; broad white eyebrows and frontal band. Winters: Malay Peninsula, Anamba Islands, Sumatra (?) & Borneo.

L. c. confusus: breeds in Amur and eastern Manchuria, and also visits Malaya; it is a little lighter than cristatus. Winters: Malay Peninsula.

L. c. superciliosus: breeds in Sakhalin, Askold, and Japan; visits Malaysia regularly. Differs in being much brighter reddish rufous above, the head fox red in the male. Winters: Malay Peninsula, Anamba Islands, Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Bali & Karimon-Java Islands.

The Brown Shrike is one of the most common winter birds in Malaysia, found in open country and fields, where it perches on hushes and tall weeds, rocks, fences, and wires. Noisy and quarrelsome.