Sunday, 22 July 2012

Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)

Adult Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) at Hayes, London - July 2012

OTHER NAMES: Butcher bird
Weight: 25-35kg
Length: 16-18cm
Wingspan: 24-27cm
UK RED LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern


Red-backed Shrikes are the smaller of the two shrikes which regularly turn up in the UK - they used to be a breeding species in the UK but became extinct as a breeding bird in 1989.  It is however making a small comeback and breeding pairs have been recorded again in recent years.  This one, like the majority of its species seen in this country, was presumably a passage migrant. Although they are passerines, shrikes are predatory and notable for the way they store their prey in "larders" which consist of thorny bushes on which they impale their small animal food.

Related Species:
Order:
Passeriformes
Family: Laniidae
Genus: Lanius
Subspecies: None - monotypic

UNITED KINGDOM - A rare passage migrant and occassional breeder
 - A single passage migrant bird at Hayes in July 2012

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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