Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Laniidae
BTO Codes: ED, REBSH EURING No: 15150
Number in Britain: 227 records/year
Conservation Status:
European: 3 Concern, most not in Europe; Depleted
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Former Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: collurio recorded in Britain (of 2 subsp. in the world)
Length: 17 cm Wingspan: 26 cm Weight: M/F: 30 g    
Scientific name from: L.: lanius=a butcher and Gr.: kollurion=a thrush-sized bird mentioned by Aristotle and Heshychius
World Distribution: BREEDS: Eurasia, WINTERS: south to s Africa
Habitat: Open woodland, scrub, savanna, farmland
Diet: Mainly insects (esp. beetles) also small mammals/birds/reptiles, hunts from perch carrying prey back to it
Identification Tips:
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Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Passage: 227 individuals
    Summer: 2 to . Pairs in
    First Record: Recorded in Anglo-Saxon times
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. ((2013)) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: RED because Historical Population Decline, Recent Breeding Population Decline,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 RED     1996-2001 RED  
   Races of Concern: collurio RED (Recent Decline)
UK Biodiversity Action Plan (Lead Partner: RSPB)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
European Population Size:
    Summer: 4.3 to 8 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I,IV), WBD(I), Bern(III)
Survey Results:

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 22 x 17 mm Egg Weight: 3.2 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 0
Clutch Size: 4 - 6 eggs
Incubation: 14 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 14 - 15days as: Altricial, naked
First Clutches Laid: Does not breed in Britain, or too few Nest Records
Number of Broods: 1(2)
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: No data
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: Typical Lifespan: No data
Maximum Recorded Age: 2 years 11 months 14 days (set in 1989)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: B
Wing Length Adult: 95.5 ± 2.0 Range 92 - 98 mm, N =74
Juvenile: 93.6 ± 1.4 91.5 - 95.5 mm, N =20
Male: 96.2 ± 1.6 93 - 99 mm, N =38
Female: 94.8 ± 2.1 92 - 98 mm, N =36
Weight Adult: 28.48 ± 2.38 Range 24.10 - 32.50 g , N =74
Juvenile: Insufficient Data
Male: 28.33 ± 2.41 23.40 - 33.00 g , N =38
Female: 28.64 ± 2.38 24.20 - 32.50 g , N =36
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Feňladair Welsh: Cigydd Cefngoch
Danish: Rřdrygget tornskade Dutch: Grauwe kaluwier
Finnish: Pikkulepinkäinen French: Pie-gričche čcorcheur
German: Neuntöter Hungarian: Tövisszúró gébics
Icelandic: Ţyrnisvarri Irish: Scréachán Droimrua
Italian: Averla piccola Norwegian: Tornskate
Polish: Gasiorek Portuguese: Picanço-de-dorso-ruivo
Spanish: Alcaudón dorsirrojo Swedish: Törnskata
Local Names: Nine-killer, Flusher

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Panov, E.N. 2011 The true shrikes (Laniidae) of the world: ecology, behaviour and evolution Pensoft, Sofia [598.942 PAN]
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
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BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides