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Thread: A few more shrikes from Kuwat by Rashed

  1. #1
    Senior Member JanJ's Avatar
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    Jan 2008

    Default A few more shrikes from Kuwat by Rashed

    Here´s a couple of shrikes by Rashed with interesting features.

    Possible hybrid collurio x phoenicuriodes.


    and here:


  2. #2
    Moderator Brian S's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Suffolk, UK


    Hi Jan

    My impression is that the first Brown Shrike-like bird is either a very richly coloured Turkestan ( or a hybrid TurkestanxRed-backed, albeit a very different one to those we normally expect.

    The second video sequence is, I believe, the same as this still image, which would appear to suggest that it too is a hybrid rather than karelini.

    This image is a stronger candidate for karelini, but from this angle it is hard to tell if it may be a bleached grey Isabelline (=Daurian in my language, rather than Turkestan phoenicuroides).

    Kuwait is clearly a very interesting place to see these shrikes, and I hope to get out there next year, but it would be good to know where they are coming from...

    Brian S
    Last edited by Brian S; May 19th, 2011 at 10:03 AM.

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    West Midlands, UK


    The second image is certainly a hybrid with collurio – note chestnut infusion in mantle colour and extent of black in tail. On Rashed’s site, over the years, there have been a number of photos of apparent hybrids, which suggests they are not particularly rare. There’s a link from one of the images on Rashed’s site to another photographer in Kuwait (‘al.suraye’) and on his site there is another shrike (again labelled as karelini) which appears to be a hybrid, photo’d in 2005.
    There is also a recent image which does show a karelini type.
    It may be that the photographers are using the term ‘karelini’ in a broader sense than the classic (‘type’) image. The origin/identity of the form karelini is rather a ‘can of worms’ at present. The ‘definition’ of karelini is open to interpretation. The ‘type’ of karelini was illustrated by Bogdanov 1881 and this ‘type’ has very pale and uniformly grey upperparts and very white underparts (thanks to Lars Svensson for providing ‘chapter-and-verse’ on the Bogdanov image). This represents the ‘classic’ karelini image and as such karelini is often regarded as a colour morph or variant of Turkestan Shrike (phoenicuroides). However, some Russian researchers, notably Evgeniy Panov, consider that karelini is a particular hybrid form, resulting from interbreeding between phoenicuroides and collurio. Hybrids between phoenicuroides and collurio are in general quite variable and, when such hybrids were first studied, they were initially deemed to be new forms, and given names such as ‘raddei’ and ‘elaeagni’. Many are obviously intermediate in appearance. The form ‘karelini’ in its ‘classic’ depiction is not obviously intermediate in appearance and this (among other things) provides a case for it being a colour morph of phoenicuroides and not a hybrid population. Also, it is deemed by some to match phoenicuroides in its biometrics.
    Conversely, Evegeniy Panov regards karelini as a relatively stable hybrid form. To support this, in his new book (The True Shrikes of the World, published by Pensoft) he includes two comparative plates. In Fig. 17.1 there are ten specimens. The first is a classic male collurio. The tenth is a classic male phoenicuroides. The other eight are various hybrid forms (raddei etc) and include karelini. Thereby EP indicates that karelini fits into this series of hybrid forms. More directly, in Fig 15.4, EP includes 20 specimens which he claims illustrate a gradual transition between specimen 1, a classic male phoenicuroides, and specimen 20, which is (quote) ‘indistinguishable from the type specimen of karelini’. Although there is an increasing greyness to the upperparts, the key feature in EP’s analysis appears to be a ‘decreasing rufous tinge in the head’. The images all show the dorsal surface, so it is not possible to judge whether there is any ‘pattern’ or ‘consistency’ in the underparts. EP also asserts that karelini occur most frequently (though by no means exclusively) where the ranges of phoenicuroides and collurio approach or overlap. He also produces a scatter diagram (Fig 17.3B) in which certain wing measurements show good segregation in pure phoenicuroides and collurio but a degree of overlap in some (but not all) regions where karelini occurs (e.g. in eastern Kazakhstan).
    Whether karelini is a morph of phoenicuroides or a relatively stable hybrid form is certainly a controversial question currently and I do not have a strong personal view on the issue. I guess it could be argued that some of the ‘other’ hybrid individuals which approach ‘classic’ karelini in appearance are hybrids between karelini (regarded as a valid morph of phoenicuroides) and collurio! Perhaps only genetic studies can resolve the issue?

    Last edited by ARD; May 20th, 2011 at 06:38 AM. Reason: Typo for raddei

  4. #4
    Moderator Brian S's Avatar
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