|Photo by Jonas Rosquist (PBase)|
ashy cuckoo-shrike (en); lagarteiro-de-Madagáscar (pt); échenilleur malgache (fr); oruguero Malgache (es); Madagaskarraupenfänger (de)
This species isfound throughout the lowland areas of Madagascar and also in the Comoros.
These birds are 22-24 cm long and weigh 40-45 g.
The ashy cuckoo-shrike is mostly found in low to mid-altitude tropical forests, including both moist and dry forests, gallery forests and forest edges. They also use scrublands, mangroves and second growths.
They feed mainly on arthropods, including caterpillars, grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles, stick insects, cicadas, mantids, bugs, flies, mayflies, dragonflies and spiders, but also take small chameleons.
Ashy cuckoo-shrikes breed in October-March. They are socially monogamous and the nest is a
shallow bowl made of moss and lichens. It is usually placed on horizontal tree branch, over 12 m above the ground. There the female lays 1-2 eggs which are incubated by both parents, but there is no available information on the length of the incubation period. the chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 24 days after hatching.
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as common in suitable habitat in Madagascar and uncommon on the Comoros. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat destruction.