Laniidae - Shrikes
The alternative name of 'butcher-birds' is an appropriate one for this small family of birds. The shrikes are a group of robust, starling-sized birds, with stout, hooked bills, and strong feet. They are all predatory, taking a range of large insects and small birds, mammals and lizards. Several species will impale their prey on on large thorns either to hold the prey while they dismember it, or to store it for later consumption.
The Red-backed Shrike was once a common bird across southern Britain, but has disappeared with the intensification of agricultural practices, though it is still seen on passage. The Great Grey Shrike, a winter visitor, is now perhaps the most likely to be encountered.
Regularly Occurring Species
BirdTrack migration blog – early spring
It may still feel like winter but for some species, the increasing temperatures and lengthening days have already kick-started spring migration, with birds starting to arrive and depart across Britain and Ireland.
Paper call for special HPAI issue
We are putting together a special issue of the BTO journal Bird Study to bring together research documenting the HPAI outbreak and its impacts on wild birds.