Flying low and fast between perches, the bay-backed shrike alights upon an exposed branch of a bush or an electricity wire, from which its watches for its insect prey (3). After spotting its target, it swoops down onto the prey and catches it on the ground. Its diet consists almost exclusively of insects, but small lizards and even mice may also be taken in this way. Usually, the bay-backed shrike feeds alone or in pairs, but it is always bold and conspicuous when feeding, and during times of abundant prey, it may store its food for periods when food is scarce (2).
The timing of breeding varies with location, but in northern India, the monogamous bay-backed shrike breeds between April and July. The nest is a small, neat cup built from grass, feathers, wool and other fibres and lined with grass (2). It is placed in a fork of a small tree or a large bush, up to ten metres above the ground, and a territory is defended around this nesting site as well as around favoured perches (2) (5). A clutch of three to five, usually four, eggs is laid, and incubated by the female for 14 to 15 days, whilst the male brings the female food. The male also supplies all of the food for the young nestlings once they have hatched, and they are tended to for around 14 to 15 days before they fledge. The bay-backed shrike may produce two broods each breeding season (2).