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Birdwatching in Africa - Somali Fiscal, Lanius somalicus

The Somali Fiscal (Lanius somalicus) is a species of bird in the Laniidae family. Other common names include the Karoli fiscal, the Somali fiscal shrike and the Somali shrike. The bird is found in Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia in the Horn of Africa, as well as in Kenya in the African Great Lakes region. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

Distribution and habitat
The Somali fiscal Is found in East Africa, its range including much of Somalia, southern Djibouti, eastern and southern Ethiopia, southeastern South Sudan and northern Kenya. It is mainly found in open grassy habitats and semi-desert areas with some scrub. Where its range overlaps that of the Taita fiscal (Lanius dorsalis), that bird usually inhabits more densely-vegetated and less arid habitats.

Range map from

Range map
Range map from - Ornithological Portal is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

Length: 21 cm
Weight: 48 - 58 g
Distinctive Feature

Similar Species

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.
Female / Male

From opus at the forum for wild birds and birding.

Listen to the Somali Fiscal

Remarks from the Recordist

Natural vocalization; calls from two birds chasing, and then a few songs from one of them after it landed, in open, tall grasslands with a few scattered trees.

Like other shrikes, the Somali fiscal perches in a position where it has a good view all round and pounces on any suitable prey it observes. It feeds mostly on large insects such as grasshoppers, mantises and beetles. Prey is sometimes impaled on thorns for consumption later, and small birds have sometimes been found in these larders.

During the breeding season, it will defend the area around its nest, being prepared to attack any bird that ventures near up to the size of a raven. Breeding usually takes place in the rainy season. The nest is usually in a bush, some 1 to 1.5 m above the ground, with a clutch of four, or sometimes three, eggs being laid. Little is known of incubation and fledging times.

The Somali fiscal has a wide range and is reported to be common in places. The population trend appears to be steady so the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species as being of "least concern"

Conservation status
Conservation status
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sighted: 22 October 2019 (Date of first photo that I could use)
Location: Awash National Park, Ethiopia

Somali Fiscal, Lanius somalicus
Somali Fiscal -

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