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Digital Subscriptions > Arran Banner > 28/07/2017 > First red-backed shrike sighting in 20 years

First red-backed shrike sighting in 20 years

Bird notes

The red-backed shrike, Lanius collurio, is a member of the shrike family Laniidae.

Shrikes are also known as butcher birds from their habit of impaling their prey, which consists of large insects, small birds, mammals and reptiles on thorns or barbed wire or in forks in trees and using this as a ‘larder’.

Red-backed shrikes are slightly larger, but slimmer, than house sparrows. The male is unmistakable with a bluish-grey head, black mask, bright chestnut back and thick hooked black bill.

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