Southern Fiscal

Lanius collaris

The Southern Fiscal is a member of the shrike family found through most of Sub-Saharan Africa. It is also sometimes named Jackie Hangman or Butcher Bird due to its habit of impaling its prey on acacia thorns to store the food for later consumption. It was previously lumped together with the Northern Fiscal . Together they were known as the Common Fiscal.
The 'Butcher bird's' butchery! The Common Fiscal is also known as the 'Butcher bird' after its habit of impaling its prey onto the thorns of an acacia tree. Today I came across this, a small acacia decorated with the corpses of the days catch. I have never seen anything quite like it. Had the bird not been in the tree along with the vole I probably would never have noticed.
Today's menu included a vole, several grasshoppers in varying stages of dying and decomposing (yes, one was still alive), a caterpillar (I think) and a beetle.  Gross, but fascinating! Butcher bird,Fall,Feeding,Geotagged,Lanius collaris,South Africa,Southern Fiscal,Spring,birds,predators,prey,south africa


This is a fairly distinctive 21–23 cm long passerine with white underparts and black upperparts extending from the top of the head down to the tail. The bird has a characteristic white 'V' on the back and a relatively long black tail with white outer feathers and white tips on the other feathers. The bill, eyes and legs are black. Adult male and female Common Fiscals are quite similar except for the rufous lower flank of the female.
Southern Fiscal in fig tree at de Hoop NR There are huge fug trees outside of the lodge at de Hoop and they are great for birdwatching. I was able to catch one of these one evening. De Hoop NP,Geotagged,Lanius collaris,South Africa,Southern Fiscal,Spring


* ''L. c. aridicolus'' Clancey, 1955 – SW Angola and NW Namibia
⤷  ''L. c. collaris'' Linnaeus, 1766 – extreme S Namibia, S, C & E South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, and extreme S Mozambique , Zambia, N Botswana, and possibly also extreme SW Tanzania and extreme NE Namibia
⤷  ''L. c. marwitzi'' Reichenow, 1901 Uhehe Fiscal – NE, C and SE Tanzania, N Malawi
⤷  ''L. c. pyrrhostictus'' Holub & Pelzeln, 1882 – extreme NE Botswana , S Zimbabwe , NE & E South Africa , and SW Mozambique
⤷  ''L. c. subcoronatus'' A. Smith, 1841 – extreme SE Angola, Namibia , Botswana, SW Zimbabwe, and N South Africa
Cape Sparrow Cape sparrow sitting on aloes Africa,Birds,Geotagged,Lanius collaris,South Africa,Southern Fiscal


The Southern Fiscal lives in a wide range of habitats from grassland with fences for perching to acacia thornveld or even woodland, but avoids very dense habitats where its hunting would be impaired.


Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Least concern
SpeciesL. collaris