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Birds by name
Conservation status: Red
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. Shrikes like to perch prominently on the tops of bushes, fence posts and telephone wires, where they have a good view of potential prey. Items caught are then taken to a larder where they are impaled on a thorn or wedged in a fork. Its dramatic decline to virtual extinction as a UK breeding species make this a Red List bird.
Now effectively extinct as a breeding bird and best looked for on passage in spring and autumn. Most birds are seen on the south and east coasts of the UK as far north as northern Scotland.
May and June, when they migrate north and from August to October when they move south.
Insects, and small birds and mammals
* UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. UK wintering is the number of individuals present from October to March. UK passage is the number of individuals passing through on migration in spring and/or autumn.
Please note that the map is only intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
Volker Arnold, Xeno-canto