Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Common Woodshrike (Tephrodornis pondicerianus)
Common Woodshrike

Common Woodshrike

Tephrodornis pondicerianus

The Common Woodshrike, Tephrodornis pondicerianus, presents itself as a small, ashy brown bird with a distinctive dark cheek patch and a broad white brow. Its plumage is rather unassuming, yet it carries a certain understated elegance.

Identification Tips

To identify this species, look for the creamy brow sitting above the dark cheek patch, and the contrasting white outer tail feathers against a darker tail. Juveniles may exhibit streaks and spots on the crown, with white spots on the mantle. The underside is streaked, and the breast is heavily marked in younger birds. The northern race, pallidus, is paler above with brown central rectrices.


The Common Woodshrike is typically found in thin forests and scrub habitats, where it can be seen hunting insects.


This species is widespread across Asia, from east India to south Laos, with subspecies extending to Pakistan, northwest India, Cambodia, and south Vietnam.


Often found in pairs, the Common Woodshrike is known for its loud, whistling song composed of several notes. It feeds primarily on insects and occasionally berries, gleaning along branches and leaves within trees. It may also make aerial sallies or forage on the ground. After alighting on a perch, it exhibits a characteristic wing adjustment, raising them over the tail.

Song & Calls

The Common Woodshrike's vocal repertoire includes a plaintive weet-weet followed by a series of quick whi-whi-whi-whee? calls. Its song is a series of rapid whistling notes.


Breeding occurs in summer before the rainy season. The species constructs a cup nest on a bare fork, using fibres and bark bound by cobwebs and camouflaged with bits of bark and lichen. The nest is lined with silky plant fibres. Typically, three eggs are laid per clutch, with both parents participating in incubation. It is believed that only the female feeds the young, who are nourished with insects and berries. In some years, two broods may be raised.

Similar Species

The Sri Lanka Woodshrike was once considered a subspecies but is now recognized as a separate species due to distinct plumage and calls, as well as strong sexual dimorphism.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Common Woodshrike consists mainly of insects, with occasional berries supplementing its diet.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Common Woodshrike as Least Concern, indicating that the species does not currently face any significant threats to its survival.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Common Woodshrikes on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Murari Varma
06 Feb 2024 - 1:22am

More Vangas & Allies

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Erna M
I really like Birda
I really like Birda. I also use other birding apps and have Birda with E-bird going at the same time.
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
Emma L
App got me interested in birding!
Super friendly community <3 This app got me interested in birding! It teaches me cool stuff and its super friendly, and fun :) The species guide is really developing my knowledge, and i love seeing cool new birds from round the world!
Hip An
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vids🦉🦅
Robred 2
Fun way to add to your birdwatching experience
I enjoy watching birds in my backyard, but this app helped me really pay attention while on vacation this summer. It was fun to add new birds to my bird watching app.
A Friendly Place
I love using the bird app, I have a pretty good knowledge of birds. But I do have some gaps in it, so it’s nice to have a safe space to check on a sighting to confirm the species. It’s really enjoyable and I love the badges you can collect. It’s like a real life Pokémon go.
Learning Birding with Birda
I’m relatively new to birding as a hobby, and Birda is a great way to keep track off all the species I see. I’m still working on my ID skills, but the app is great for figuring out potential species, and the online community is so friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend Birda to both early and serious birders! 🐦
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.