Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio)
Species

Juvenile. Taken at Melnik, Bulgaria, on July 22nd 2015.
(1/320th sec at f11. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 16 - 18cm

Male Red-backed Shrikes are distinctive, with grey heads, chestnut backs, light pink underparts and a black eye-stripe. Females have a brown stripe.

It is found widely in Europe, arriving from Africa in May and returning in August. It occurs as a passage migrant on the southern and eastern coasts of England.

It breeds in open cultivated country, often on heaths and pastures.

An insect specialist. Surplus prey are impaled on bush thorns.

It has Red status in the British Isles, and is effectively extinct as a breeding bird here.

Sightings

25-Jul-2018 : Vercors Natural Park, France

11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
10-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
07-Jun-2017 : Irinovac, Croatia
06-Jun-2017 : Irinovac, Croatia
26-Jul-2015 : Bansko meadows, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : Melnik, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : Melnik, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : Melnik, Bulgaria (2)
20-Jul-2015 : nr Samokov, Bulgaria (1)