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A pair of Long-tailed Fiscals
Scientific classification

Rafinesque, 1815
A bee caught and impaled by a shrike

Shrikes are passerine birds of the family Laniidae. The family has 31 species in three genera. The family name, Lanius, is derived from the Latin word for "butcher". Some shrikes were also known as "butcher birds" because of their feeding habits. This is because shrike sometimes sticks its prey on a thorn, as on a meat hook.[1] This makes it easier for them to feed on it.

Distribution[change | change source]

Most shrike species live in Eurasia and Africa, with just two breeding in North America. There are no members of this family in South America or Australia, although one species reaches New Guinea.

The shrikes vary in the size of their ranges. Some species like the Great Grey Shrike range across the northern hemisphere, whereas Newton's Fiscal is restricted to the island of São Tomé.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. "shrike (bird) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia". britannica.com. 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  2. Yosef, Reuven (2008). "Family Laniidae (Shrikes)". In Josep, del Hoyo; Andrew, Elliott; David, Christie (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World, volume 13, Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 732–773. ISBN 978-84-96553-45-3.

Other websites[change | change source]