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Woodchat Shrike

From Opus

Photo by RaydesAncient Andissa, Lesvos, Greece, May 2004
Photo by Raydes
Ancient Andissa, Lesvos, Greece, May 2004
Lanius senator


[edit] Identification

JuvenilePhoto by Averity  Menorca, September 2006
Photo by Averity
Menorca, September 2006

18–19 cm (7-½ in)

  • Black forehead
  • Broad patch round the eye
  • Chestnut-red cowl on rear crown and upper mantle
  • Oval shoulder patches

Female and Juvenile - dull brown upperparts and buff underparts, both of which are vermiculated.

[edit] Distribution

Breeds in southern Europe, the Middle East and northwest Africa. Winters in Africa.
Europe: Scandinavia, Norway, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Portugal, Spain, Ibiza, Mallorca, Canary Islands, Gran Canaria, Gibraltar, Andorra, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Italy, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Yugoslavia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Malta, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova
Northern Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania
Middle East: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Asia: Russia, Afghanistan

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • L. s. senator:
  • L. s. badius: (Balearic Woodchat Shrike)[2]
  • Western Mediterranean islands; winters to central Africa
  • L. s. niloticus:

Lanius senator niloticus is not recognised by some authorities[2]

[edit] Habitat

Open country with scattered trees and bushes; olive groves and orchards.

[edit] Behaviour

Has a habit of perching on prominent branches and posts.

[edit] Breeding

Nests in trees

[edit] Diet

The diet consists of larger insects, such as beetles, damsel flies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, wasps and bees, which are impaled on thorns.

[edit] Vocalisation

A harsh chattering

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[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  4. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  5. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  6. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2017)

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