Lanius minor (*)
Lanius minor Gmelin, 1788
Systema Naturae 1 pt1 p.308
The Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor) is a member of the shrike family Laniidae.
It is similar in appearance to the Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor and the Southern Grey Shrike L. meridionalis. It breeds in southeastern Europe and into Asia.
This species prefers dry open lowlands, and is prominent on telephone wires.
It is slightly smaller than the Great Grey Shrike, and has a black forehead and relatively longer wings.
This medium-sized migratory passerine eats large insects, small birds and rodents. Like other shrikes it hunts from prominent perches, and impales corpses on thorns or barbed wire as a "larder".
It is a scarce vagrant to western Europe, including Great Britain, usually as a spring overshoot.
* BirdLife International (2004). Lanius minor. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
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