- Lanius senator
18–19 cm (7-½ in)
- Black forehead
- Broad patch round the eye
- Chestnut-red cowl on rear crown and upper mantle
- Oval shoulder patches
Female and Juvenile - dull brown upperparts and buff underparts, both of which are vermiculated.
Breeds in southern Europe, the Middle East and northwest Africa. Winters in Africa.
Europe: Scandinavia, Norway, Finland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Portugal, Spain, Ibiza, Mallorca, Canary Islands, Gran Canaria, Gibraltar, Andorra, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Germany, Austria, Italy, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Yugoslavia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Malta, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova
Northern Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania
Middle East: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Asia: Russia, Afghanistan
There are 3 subspecies:
- L. s. senator:
- L. s. badius: (Balearic Woodchat Shrike)
- Western Mediterranean islands; winters to central Africa
- L. s. niloticus:
Lanius senator niloticus is not recognised by some authorities
Open country with scattered trees and bushes; olive groves and orchards.
Has a habit of perching on prominent branches and posts.
Nests in trees
The diet consists of larger insects, such as beetles, damsel flies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, wasps and bees, which are impaled on thorns.
A harsh chattering
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
- Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
- Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2017)
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Woodchat Shrike. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 7 December 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Woodchat_Shrike
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