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Red-backed shrike: Birds of Britain

Posted in Animals, Birds, Nature, Wildlife on Monday, 28 February 2011

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Red-backed Shrike. Familiar Wild Birds by W Swaysland

Red-backed Shrike. Familiar Wild Birds by W Swaysland

The name “butcher bird” has been won by the red-backed shrike for its habits of impaling prey – bumble bees, beetles or even nestlings and small birds – on a thorn or branch. This makes a “larder” of surplus food, to be eaten later. A conspicuous, noisy bird, the red-backed shrike hunts and feeds like a small hawk, scanning the territory from a look-out post, or hovering and gliding before swooping on its victim. Breeding is on rough, open land, where there are bushes for hunting posts and nesting.

This edited article originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 909 published on 23 June 1979. Click on a picture to find out more about licensing images for commercial or personal/educational use. We are also able to license textual material. Please contact us for details.

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