Laniidae – Shrikes

Grey-backed Shrike (Lanius tephronotus) by Nikhil

Grey-backed Shrike (Lanius tephronotus) by Nikhil

For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. (James 3:7 NKJV)

CLASS – AVES, Order – PASSERIFORMES, Family – Laniidae – Shrikes

Latest I.O.C. Version
Species (33)

Yellow-billed Shrike (Corvinella corvina)
Magpie Shrike (Urolestes melanoleucus)
Northern White-crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus ruppelli)
Southern White-crowned Shrike (Eurocephalus anguitimens)
Tiger Shrike (Lanius tigrinus)
Souza’s Shrike (Lanius souzae)
Bull-headed Shrike (Lanius bucephalus)
Brown Shrike (Lanius cristatus)
Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
Isabelline Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)
Red-tailed Shrike (Lanius phoenicuroides)
Burmese Shrike (Lanius collurioides)
Emin’s Shrike (Lanius gubernator)
Bay-backed Shrike (Lanius vittatus)
Long-tailed Shrike (Lanius schach)
Grey-backed Shrike (Lanius tephronotus)
Mountain Shrike (Lanius validirostris)
Mackinnon’s Shrike (Lanius mackinnoni)
Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor)
Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)
Northern Shrike (Lanius borealis)
Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)
Iberian Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis)
Chinese Grey Shrike (Lanius sphenocercus)
Grey-backed Fiscal (Lanius excubitoroides)
Long-tailed Fiscal (Lanius cabanisi)
Taita Fiscal (Lanius dorsalis)
Somali Fiscal (Lanius somalicus)
Northern Fiscal (Lanius humeralis)
Southern Fiscal (Lanius collaris)
Sao Tome Fiscal (Lanius newtoni)
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator)
Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus)


On the photos or slides, a “by” indicates one of the photographers or videographers, who have given their permission, with links on our sidebar. Please visit their site to see many more fantastic shots, a “©©” copyright symbol indicates a photo from Creative Commons and ©WikiC is a Creative Commons photo from Wikipedia.

Photographers or Videographers used on this page from our sidebar, Photography, are:
Bob & Nan’s Gallery
Dave’s BirdingPix
Ian Montgomery’s Birdway
Nikhil Devasar’s Gallery
William Kwong’s Galleries

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Shrikes are passerine birds of the family Laniidae. The family is composed of thirty-one species in three genera. The family name, and that of the largest genus, Lanius, is derived from the Latin word for “butcher”, and some shrikes were also known as “butcher birds” because of their feeding habits. Note that the Australasian butcherbirds are not shrikes.

Most shrike species have a Eurasian and African distribution, with just two breeding in North America (the Loggerhead and Great Grey shrikes). There are no members of this family in South America or Australia, although one species reaches New Guinea. The shrikes vary in the extent of their ranges, with some species like the Great Grey Shrike ranging across the northern hemisphere to the Newton’s Fiscal which is restricted to the island of São Tomé.

They inhabit open habitats, especially steppe and savannah. A few species of shrike are forest dwellers, seldom occurring in open habitats. Some species breed in northern latitudes during the summer, then migrate to warmer climes for the winter.

Shrikes are known for their habit of catching insects and small vertebrates and impaling their bodies on thorns. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently-sized fragments, and serves as a cache so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time. This same behavior of impaling insects serves as an adaptation to eating the toxic lubber grasshopper (Romalea guttata). The bird waits for 1–2 days for the toxins within the grasshopper to degrade, and then can eat it. (Wikipedia)

Some of the Family – Photos are Alphabetical down the columns:


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