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Woodchat Shrike

Woodchat Shrike
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Laniidae
Genus: Lanius[?]
Species: senator
Binomial name
Lanius senator

The Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator is a member of the shrike family Laniidae.

The Woodchat 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 the 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.



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