Wild Birds

Woodchat Shrikes

The Woodchat Shrikes (Lanius senator) is a member of the shrike family Laniidae.

The Woodchat Shrikes breeds in southern Europe, the Middle East, and northwest Africa, and winters in tropical Africa. It breeds in open cultivated country, preferably with orchard trees and some bare or sandy ground.

This migratory medium-sized passerine eats large insects, small birds, voles and lizards. Like other shrikes, it hunts from prominent perches, and impales corpses on thorns or barbed wire as a “larder”.

The male is a striking bird with black and white plumage and a chestnut crown. The race L. s. badius of the western Mediterranean lacks large white wing patches.

In the female and young birds, the upperparts are brown and vermiculated. Underparts are buff and also vermiculated.

This species often overshoots its breeding range on spring migration and is a rare visitor to Great Britain.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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