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A photo of a Iberian Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis)
Iberian Grey Shrike

Iberian Grey Shrike

Lanius meridionalis

The Iberian grey shrike, Lanius meridionalis, is a captivating bird, a member of the shrike family. It bears a resemblance to its relative, the great grey shrike, Lanius excubitor, yet it presents subtle distinctions in plumage. This bird is slightly smaller and darker than its great grey counterpart.

Identification Tips

When observing the Iberian grey shrike, look for a bird that is somewhat diminutive and darker compared to the great grey shrike. Its plumage is generally similar, but keen birdwatchers will note the differences that set it apart.

Habitat

The Iberian grey shrike is a bird of preference for dry, open country. It thrives in the southern European landscapes where it resides year-round.

Distribution

This species is a resident bird of southern Europe, where it can be found throughout the year, gracing the open habitats with its presence.

Behaviour

The Iberian grey shrike is known for its unique feeding habits. It hunts large insects, small birds, and rodents from prominent perches. In a rather macabre display, it is known to impale its prey on thorns or barbed wire, creating a "larder" for later consumption.

Breeding

The breeding habits of the Iberian grey shrike include the laying of eggs, as evidenced by the specimens collected and preserved in natural history museums.

Conservation status

The Iberian grey shrike is currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Conservation efforts are essential to ensure the survival of this species.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Iberian grey shrike consists of large insects, small birds, and rodents. Its method of feeding involves hunting from vantage points and storing food in a grisly fashion, skewering its catch on sharp points for later consumption.

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