Lanius collurio (*)
Lanius collurio Linnaeus, 1758
Systema Naturae ed.10 p.94
The Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) is a carnivorous passerine bird and member of the shrike family Laniidae.
This bird breeds in most of Europe and western Asia and winters in tropical Africa. Although a migratory visitor to Great Britain, it had been considered extinct as a breeding bird and has been named as a protected bird in Britain under a Biodiversity Action Plan; in September 2010 the RSPB announced that a breeding pair had successfully raised chicks in a secret location in Dartmoor, the first recorded since 1970.
It breeds in open cultivated country with hawthorn and dog rose.
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".
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.
English common names for the red-backed shrike include 'Wariangle' and 'worrier'.
1. ^ BirdLife International (2004). Lanius collurio. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
* Worfolk, Tim (2000) Identification of red-backed, isabelline and brown shrikes Dutch Birding 22 (6): 323-362
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