Long-tailed Shrike – call and song

on 13th March 2022

The habitat for these Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach bentet) birds is diminishing and I see them less often; usually further out of the city, where once they were common in the city.

The two images (top and bottom) are of male with a broader black-frontal band (volume of black on the head varies). L. s. bentet is said to have the second longest tail of the subspecies; longest is L. s. longicaudatus.

I managed to record a number of calls and song types made by the male. Full range of calls are not well documented for the region (Wells 2007).

The above sonogram and wave form is of the common harsh, advertising or territorial calls. Note in the recording that the nature of the calls change. I am only showing the first type. I have also sharp ‘yelps’ especially when nesting.

Call recording here:

And here…

Note that there is an anxious Yellow-vented Bulbul and some traffic noise in the background.

The interesting vocalisation is the warbling song that I have heard a few times (above). Lefranc (2011) says “The song is a pleasant, somewhat metallic warble. It contains the imitation of calls and songs of other birds. … The song can be delivered without interruption for 5, 10 or even 15 minutes.”

Song recording here:

The song is a mixture of bird calls and, at times, almost like an Oriental Magpie Robin.

Note that there is an anxious Yellow-vented Bulbul and some traffic noise in the background.


  1. Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 2 (Passarines). Christopher Helm, London.
  2. Norbert Lefranc (2011). Shrikes. Helm Identification Guides.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Open ‘grassland’

Date: 9th July 2020

Equipment: Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Nikon AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone



If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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