The Tiger Shrike or Thick-billed Shrike (Lanius tigrinus) is a small passerine birdwhich belongs to the genus Lanius in the shrike family, Laniidae. It is found in wooded habitats across eastern Asia. It is a shy, often solitary bird which is less conspicuous than most other shrikes. Like other shrikes it is predatory, feeding on small animals. Its nest is built in a tree and three to six eggs are laid. It derives its name from the tiger-like pattern of its upperparts which are reddish-brown with dark bars. Adult males have white underparts and a grey head with a black mask. Females and young birds are duller and browner and young birds lack the grey and black on the head.
It breeds in temperate regions of eastern Asia in deciduous or mixed woodland, forest edges and farmland with scattered trees. It is found in lowland areas, mainly occurring below 150 metres in Russia, 800 metres in Japan and 900 metres in China. Its range covers Ussuriland in the Russian Far East north to about 44°N, central and eastern China, Korea and northern and central parts of the Japanese island of Honshū.
It migrates southward in August and September, returning to the breeding grounds in May and June. It winters intropical and subtropical regions of south-east Asia below 1,000 metres above sea-level. Its non-breeding range extends from south-east China south through eastern Burma, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to Malaysia and Indonesiawhere a few reach Java and Bali in the south and Sulawesi in the east. In winter it occurs in forest clearings and edges, cultivated land, mangroves and gardens.
Vagrant birds have occurred in Hong Kong and the Philippines. In Australia, a dead bird which may have arrived on a ship was once found near Fremantle and a bird was seen on Christmas Island in April 2008.
It has a wide distribution and a fairly large population and is not considered threatened with BirdLife Internationalclassing it as Least Concern. However it has declined recently in Japan and Russia. In Japan, it is now uncommon and local but was formerly common and occurred in the suburbs of Tokyo.