Long-tailed Fiscal (Lanius cabanisi)

The Long-tailed Fiscal is a medium-sized bird, 12" (31cm), with black crown, nape, wings and tail. The underparts and base of the wing primaries are white. They have a dark grey mantle. Black, hook-tipped bill. Only the female has a small rufous patch on each flank. It is the long, well rounded tail that is distinctive between this and other sociable shrikes.

The Long-tailed Fiscal is a gregarious bird, with groups gathering on the tops of bushes and low trees. Much excitement is evident, with constant tail waving from side-to-side.

The Long-tailed Fiscal eats large insects, including grasshoppers & beetles. They also take frogs, lizards, mice and occasionally fledgling birds. The like to feed in Acacia, impaling their victims on the thorns, often returning to complete their meal.

The Long-tailed Fiscal is resident in the south-west quarter of Kenya, from sea-level to 1,600m.

Extra Facts
The name 'Fiscal' comes "from their rapacity, which no revenue-officer could exceed".

Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, fiscal, kenya, long-tailed fiscal, shrike, wildlife

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Grey Mantle

Long-tailed Fiscal, perched on side of a bush, showing its grey mantle.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Perched

Long-tailed Fiscal perched on a broken-off branch, showing its claws.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Acacia Thorns

Long-tailed Fiscal perched amongst the thorns of an Acacia tree.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Tail Raised

Long-tailed Fiscal perched on an Acacia bush, with tail raised.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Grasshopper

Long-tailed Fiscal with freshly-caught Grasshopper, on top of an Acacia bush.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Throwing Food

Long-tailed Fiscal, throwing a piece of Grasshopper into the air and catching it.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Chewing

Long-tailed Fiscal, chewing a piece of Grasshopper, breaking it into smaller pieces.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Claw Outstretched

Long-tailed Fiscal eating the body of a grasshopper.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Holding Grasshopper

Long-tailed Fiscal holding a Grasshopper with one claw and holding onto an Acacia bush with the other.

Long-tailed Fiscal ~ Showing Off

Long-tailed Fiscal, holding the inside of a Grasshopper in its bill.