Common Fiscal

The Common Fiscal (Lanius collaris) also known as the Fiscal Shrike, or “Jacky Hanger”, is a member of the shrike family found through most of Sub-Saharan Africa. It has a wide range of habitats from grassland to acacia or woodland. It avoids very dense areas where it is impaired by hunting.

This is a unique 8.25 to 9 inch passerine with white underparts and black upperparts that extend from the top of the head down to the tail. It has a white V-shape on its back and a long black tail with white outer feathers and white tips on the other feathers. Eyes, bill and legs are black. Sexes are similar except for the brownish-red lower flank on the female.

The Common Fiscal is usually solitary and hunts insects and small rodents from an exposed perch or the tops of shrubs. Territorial size is directly related to the density of hunting perches. More birds enter areas where manmade perches (such as fence posts) are used, as it reduces the territory size of these birds, allowing them to grow in population.

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