Back, scapulars, and wing-coverts, ferruginous: breast and flanks rose-red: second quill longer than the fifth: tail even at the extremity.
L. Collurio, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. i. p. 147. Red-backed Shrike, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 150. pl. 43. f. 2. and pl. 43. f. 1, 2. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 73.
Entire length seven inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) six lines, (from the gape) nine lines and a half; of the tarsus eleven lines; of the tail three inches one line and a half; from the carpus to the end of the wing three inches seven lines: breadth, wings extended, eleven inches four lines.
(Male). Crown of the head and nape ash-gray: a black band through the eyes, commencing at the base of the upper mandible, and reaching half-way down the neck: back, scapulars, and wing-coverts, ferruginous brown: rump ash-gray: quills dusky, edged with reddish brown: throat and vent white; breast, belly, and flanks, rose-red: tail nearly even at the extremity; the two middle feathers wholly black; the rest white from the base through two-thirds of their length, the remaining portion black, except the extreme tip which is also white: bill and feet black: irides chestnut-brown. (Female). All the upper parts dull ferruginous brown: nape and rump tinged with ash-gray: under parts grayish white; sides of the neck, breast, and flanks, barred transversely with narrow semicircular dusky lines: tail with the outer webs of the two external feathers edged with white; the four middle ones of a uniform reddish brown. (Young). General plumage resembling that of the adult female, but with less of the grayish tinge on the nape and rump; upper parts here and there barred with blackish brown. (Egg). Pointed: ground colour reddish white, spotted with darker red and ash-gray, the spots forming a band near the large end: long. diam. eleven lines; trans, diam. eight lines. Obs. The eggs of this species vary occasionally, and are sometimes greenish white, with spots of light brown and ash-gray intermixed.
A regular summer visitant, arriving in the Spring, and departing in the early part of the Autumn. Not uncommon in some parts of the country. Haunts copses, tall hedges, and furzy commons, where it builds. Nest formed of moss and wool, intermixed with grass, and lined with hair: eggs five or six. Food principally coleopterous insects. Obs. The Wood-Chat figured at p. 75 (vol. i). of Bewick's British Birds, is only the female of this species.