The Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus) is a bird in the shrike family that is found mainly in Asia. It is closely related to the Red-backed Shrike (L. collurio) and Isabelline Shrike (L. isabellinus). Like most other shrikes, it has a distinctive black "bandit-mask" through the eye. and is found mainly in open scrub habitats, where it perches on the tops of thorny bushes in search of prey. Several populations of this widespread species form distinctive subspecies which breed in temperate Asia and migrate to their winter quarters in tropical Asia. They are sometimes found as vagrants in Europe and North America.
The nominate form breeds in northern Asia from Mongolia to Siberia and winters in South Asia, Myanmar and the Malay Peninsula. The race confusus described from the same region is not well marked but is said to have a wider white brow and paler upperparts and is sometimes included within the nominate population. Subspecies superciliosus (sometimes called the Japanese Shrike) breeds on the islands of Sakhalin, Kuril and Japan and winters in Hainan, Sumatra, Java, and the Sundas. Subspecies lucionensis, sometimes known as the Philippine Shrike, breeds in Korea and eastern China wintering mainly in Taiwan, Philippines but also on the Andaman Islands and in peninsular India.