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 Post subject: Shrike: Common Fiscal
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:21 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Kleinmond, Western Cape
Since we have been living in our present house (just more than 4 years), we had a resident male Fiscal Shrike. (We call him "Skallie" - don't ask me why, my wife gave him the name). Every late spring a female will join him for the breeding season. Normally roundabout mid-November the young ones will make their appearance - sometimes up to three of them. They will stay around for a few weeks and then disappear. The same for the female. Skallie will be the only one left till the next spring. We have a few thorn trees in our garden. Depending on the time of the year, lots of different prey will be "executed" on the thorns - varying from crickets, grasshoppers, worms, wasps, frogs, little birds and even small snakes.

We have two parrots. During early spring (this year) we noticed for the first time that Skallie comes and sit on top of their cages when we put them out to enjoy some early morning sun. One of the parrots' daily "spoils" is a bit of grated cheese. We noticed that Skallie actually goes for the titbits of cheese that sometimes fall out of the cage when the parrots feed. We then decided to spoil him a little bit too by putting out a bit of grated cheese on our kitchen window sill.

At the beginning of October we saw his new partner for the breeding season for the first time. She would sit on the telephone line towards our house and he would come and collect some cheese to take back to her. It was obviously part of the courtship process. When he approached her she would clap her wings like a chick being fed by a parent. After about a week she also became very tame, but would not come and feed by herself. She would come within 1 metre of the window sill and Skallie will still collect the cheese and feed her.

Then we noticed the two of them disappearing into a shrub growing behind our house (mountain fynbos behind our house). They were obviously building a nest. About mid October Skallie started taking cheese to the nest (and minced meat which we also put out) to the nest. Occasionally Skallina (as she was named by my wife) would come and get her own food from the window sill while Skallie was doing the breeding.

And then one day we saw both of them together again. He was not feeding her anymore, but started carrying food to the nest. She would come and eat, but not once did we see her taking food to the nest. That is when I started thinking that the male Fiscal Shrike is solely responsible for feeding the chicks.

This past Thursday morning (24 November) little Skalloepie came to our yard for the first time. Seems he/she is the only child this year. Skallina is also still around, but she only comes and get food for herself. Skallie is still the only one feeding Skalloepie.

I know that in the case of some birds the male take sole responsibility to rear the chicks (e.g. African Jacana), but can anybody confirm whether this is the case with the Common Fiscal Shrike? To me it surely looks as if this is the case.

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Last edited by Stoffel on Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 pm 
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They also live in my garden I have recently noticed them with young ones (about 10 of them), the older male (black and white) and a female. They actualy make a big noise, expesaly the young ones screaming for food.

The male Fiscal Shrike is very common and can be seen all year round, while the females and young ones only come during the October - January month's. The male Fiscal Shrike was busy the whole day collecting food for the chicks.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:31 pm 
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Interesting observation, I read up about it and they say chicks are fed by both parents but mainly the male, so your observation is spot on

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 10:09 pm 
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Bontebok NP

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:53 pm 
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Location: Shrewsbury UK ex CapeTown
Brilliant pictures - are they all yours? You must have quite a collection if you can come up with 3 juvenile pic's in a few minutes :!:
Which one is it then - doesn't look like the Bou Bou, but I suppose the shrike is more likely?


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:42 am 
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Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
female fiscal shrike, WCNP April 2006

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu May 15, 2008 6:06 pm 
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Location: Looking for Bats...
we have quite a few of them at my school, in the early morning sun one will sit on a tree and warm up.
they are so cute! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:53 pm 
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
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Award: Birder of the Year (2012)
The common fiscal, Lanius collaris, must the the closest thing to being a bird of prey without officiall being taken into that catagory.

I couldn't believe my eyes this morning when I saw one impaling a fieldmouse onto a spike on a barbed wire fence. On closer insection this near 50-m strech of fence must have been the bird's larder. It also contained grasshoppers, a caterpillar, a few ticks and a small frog! I thought maybe there would be some logical explaination for this and as soon as I got home I tackled my Roberts VII... this observation is acurate... they ARE vicious, opportunistic, unrecognised Birds of Prey! There are observations of them taking laughing doves :shock: and fish from the water like a kingfisher!

Truly a remarkably game little bird.


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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 2:20 pm 
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Location: Noordheuwel, Krugersdorp.SA
Just thought I'd share these nice photos with you. Common Fischal
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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 4:05 pm 
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Can anyone confirm this ID, is this a fiscal shrike?

Image

Image

Image

Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 4:42 pm 
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JustJuice wrote:
Can anyone confirm this ID, is this a fiscal shrike?

Yup. :thumbs_up:

The longer tail and the hooked tip to the bill sets it apart from Fiscal Flycatcher.

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 Post subject: Re: Identification Help - General Birds
Unread postPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 4:51 pm 
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deefstes wrote:
Yup. :thumbs_up:

The longer tail and the hooked tip to the bill sets it apart from Fiscal Flycatcher.


Thanks :D

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 Post subject: Common Fiscal Shrike
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:20 pm 
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Location: Pretoria
Common Fiscal Shrike Lanius collaris
Although not seen often, the western race of the fiscal shrike can also be found in the Kgalagadi TFP. I photographed this one just outside Twee Rivieren Camp, next to the Nossob River.

The male of the arid western race has a conspicuous white eyebrow while the female is a duller greyish version of the male with rufous on the flanks just covered by the wings. The juv. is brownish above with fine barring on the head and flanks.

These shrikes hunt by scanning the ground from a good vantage point – usually a high, open perch. After catching pray they often pin the pray on a thorn or twig to stash it for later (see photo).

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 Post subject: Re: Common Fiscal Shrike
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:32 pm
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Location: Cape Town
This is very interesting, in the past week, I had to browse in my books to ID a bird in the garden, at first I thought it was the Fiscal Shrike, but then realised it's rather the Fiscal Flycatcher :redface:
Thanks LG for giving this interesting notes and photo of the white eyebrow-one as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Common Fiscal Shrike
Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:48 pm 
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Welcome to the forum! :thumbs_up:


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