Wild Birds

Lesser Grey Shrikes

The Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor) is a member of the shrike family Laniidae.

Distribution / Range

It breeds in southeastern Europe and into Asia.

It is a scarce vagrant to western Europe, including Great Britain, usually as a spring overshoot.

This species prefers dry open lowlands and is prominent on telephone wires.


It is similar in appearance to the Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor and the Southern Grey Shrike L. meridionalis.

It is slightly smaller than the Great Grey Shrike and has a black forehead and relatively longer wings.

Diet / Feeding

This medium-sized migratory passerine eats large insects, small birds, rodents, and lizards.

Like other shrikes, it hunts from prominent perches, and impales corpses on thorns or barbed wire as a “larder”.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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