Red-backed shrike at nest with chicks


Two species of shrike are regular seasonal visitors to the UK and red-backed shrikes used to breed here. Two other species of shrike breed in parts of Europe but are very rare visitors to our shores.

Shrike are small to medium sized birds with large round heads, slightly hooked bills and long, sharp claws. They eat insects, small birds, rodents and reptiles which may be impaled on thorns for ease of feeding or to store for later. All shrikes are migrants, moving either within Europe or to over-winter in Africa.