|Brown Shrike by Sylvia Ramos|
Shrikes look like little hawks. They have a powerful, raptor-like, hooked bill and sharp claws for holding down their prey. The Long-tailed Shrike has a black head, grey back bordered in cinnamon, long black tail, white underparts and cinnamon under the tail and at the flanks or the sides of the lower torso. The Brown Shrike looks similar to a Long-tailed Shrike except that it has a grey forehead, greyish-brown head, golden-buff breast and belly, and a shorter tail.
Long-tailed Shrikes are resident birds and Brown Shrikes are migrants. Being a resident means that Long-tailed Shrikes live and breed in the Philippines the whole year round. They are also found in other countries. Their range extends from Iran to India, China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia to New Guinea. Birds that breed and live exclusively in the Philippines are called Philippine endemics. Being a migrant means that Brown Shrikes breed in northern Asia and winter in the Philippines. It is amazing to think that the Brown Shrikes in the village flew all the way from China to feed in the gardens of Ayala Alabang.