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Common Name : Brown Shrike     -       Scientific Name : Lanius cristatus cristatus       -       Other Name : Dumburu Espatiya (S)
Kombansanchi pooval
Kanjuan Villu

This is a very common migrant that can be seen throughout the country. This species breeds in northern Asia from Mongolia to Siberia and migrate during the winter to South Asia, Myanmar and the Malay Peninsula.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Least Concerned” (IUCN Red List).

Brown Shrike is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

This is species arrives in the country as early as mid October and remains until early May to return to their breeding grounds in northern Asia. I have recorded this species during my field trips from the highest mountains (Horton Plains National Park) to the densest rain forests in the wet zone (Sinharaja, Knuckles and the Peak Wilderness) and even from the islands off the cost of Jaffna (Analathivu Island). It is common in the Mannar Island and the Delft Island as well. Brown Shrikes are still found in the well-wooded gardens in city of Colombo and marshes just out side the city such as Thalangama, Bellanwila Attidiya and Kotte.

This unmistakable bird with its prominent black “bandit mask” across the eyes is common throughout Wilpattu. During the season their loud harsh chatter can often be heard during mornings and evenings game drives. On arrival each bird will select a territory for its self and will remain in their patch through out their stay.