Long-tailed shrike (Lanius schach) swallowing brown anole (Anolis sagrei)

posted in: bird, brown anole, Feeding-vertebrates | 0

Protagonist 1: Long-tailed shrike, Lanius schach, the predator.

Protagonist 2: Brown anole, Anolis sagrei, the prey.

Long-tailed shrike, Lanius schach

  • Family Laniidae
  • 25-28 cm long
  • resident in Singapore. Also found in North-East India, Eastern and Southern China, Taiwan & South-East Asia
  • seldom encountered in field, diurnal predatory bird
  • diet: lizards, small birds, small mammals, fish, small snakes
  • interesting snippets: not raptor but hunts like one by swooping down on prey from high branch
  • also known locally as butcher birds as they impale large preys on sharp branch or long thorn, much like the ‘butcher birds’ of Australia ( Family Artamidae, Genera Melloria & Cracticus)


Brown anole, Anolis sagrei (formerly Norops sagrei)

  • Family Dactyloidae
  • snout to vent length, that is, excluding tail: male 6.4 cm  female 4.8 cm
  • originally from Cuba and Bahamas. First noticed at Gardens by the Bay, Singapore in 2012. Probably hitched free ride on  ornamental plants
  • diet: insects, earthworms and snails
  • interesting snippets: the lizards can display different colours depending on the time of day, whether it is displaying aggression,      reproductive display.
  • males have more developed dewlap for aggression, territorial and mating displays


Andy Chew documented  a long-tailed shrike in the process of swallowing a dead brown anole whole.

Photo 1. Long-tailed shrike with dead brown anole in its beak.


Photo 2. Long-tailed shrike swallowing brown anole head first.


Photo 3. Half of brown anole inside mouth of long-tailed shrike.


Photo 4. Only long tail of brown anole remains to be swallowed.


Photo 5. Potrait of a brown anole.


Photos 1-4 attribute Andy Chew. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. 19 March 2022

Photo      5 attribute Shahrul Kamal. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. 9 March 2022

Post 1 is about a long-tailed shrike feeding on an impaled lizard and post 2 is about a tiger shrike feeding on an impaled lizard. Read  post 3 about a long-tailed shrike mobbing a barn owl. Also read post 4post 5 , and post 6 about other aspects of the long-tailed shrike.

Article by Teo Lee Wei


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-tailed_shrike
  2. https://ebird.org/species/lotshr1
  3. https://wiki.nus.edu.sg/display/TAX/Norops+sagrei+-+Brown+Anole

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