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Sunday, 15 September 2019

Red-backed shrike

The red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio) is a carnivorous passerine bird and member of the shrike family Laniidae. The breeding range stretches from Western Europe east to central Russia but it only rarely occurs in the British Isles. It is migratory and winters in the western areas of tropical Africa. The red-backed shrike was formally described by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae under its current binomial name Lanius collurio. The genus name, Lanius, is derived from the Latin word for "butcher", and some shrikes are also known as "butcher birds" because of their feeding habits. The specific collurio is from Ancient Greek kollurion, a bird mentioned by Aristotle. The common English name "shrike" is from Old English scríc, "shriek", referring to the shrill call. This 16–18 cm (approx. 6.3–7.1 inches) long migratory bird eats large insects, small birds, frogs, rodents and lizards. Like other shrikes it hunts from prominent perches, and impales corpses on thorns or barbed wire as a "larder." This practice has earned it the nickname of "butcher bird."
The general colour of the male’s upper parts is reddish. It has a grey head and a typical shrike black stripe through the eye. Underparts are tinged pink, and the tail has a black and white pattern similar to that of a wheatear. In the female and young birds the upperparts are brown and vermiculated. Underparts are buff and also vermiculated.
This bird breeds in most of Europe and western Asia and winters in tropical Africa. The bird is listed as a "least concern" (LC) species on a global scale, but some parts of its range have seen a steep decline in numbers, so locally its status can be less secure.

 

(lat. Lanius collurio)

Sunday, 15 September 2019
created by: Marek Sarvas