Iberian grey shrike

The Iberian grey shrike (Lanius meridionalis) is a member of the shrike family. The plumage is generally similar to great grey shrike apart from the differences noted below. It is closely related to the great grey shrike, Lanius excubitor, which it was previously considered conspecific; where they co-occur, they do not interbreed and are separated by choice of habitat.[2]

Iberian grey shrike
Indian Great Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis lahtora) Photograph by Shantanu Kuveskar.jpg
Lanius meridionalis lahtora

Pune, Maharashtra, India

Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Laniidae
Genus: Lanius
L. meridionalis
Binomial name
Lanius meridionalis
(Temminck, 1820)

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

The genus name, Lanius, is derived from the Latin word for "butcher", and some shrikes are also known as "butcher birds" because of their feeding habits. The specific meridionalis is Latin for "southern".[3] The common English name "shrike" is from Old English scríc, "shriek", referring to the shrill call.[4]

It is resident in southern Europe. It is slightly smaller and darker than the great grey shrike, and prefers dry open country.

Behaviour and ecologyEdit

Eggs of Lanius meridionalis - MHNT

This medium-sized passerine bird 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".


  1. ^ BirdLife International. 2017. Lanius meridionalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22729533A118845180. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22729533A118845180.en. Downloaded on 01 January 2019.
  2. ^ Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J. & Parkin, David T. (2002): Taxonomic recommendations for European birds. Ibis 144(1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x PDF fulltext
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 219, 251. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ "Shrike". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)



  • Jorma Tenovuo & Juha Varrela (1998) Identification of the Great Grey Shrike complex in Europe Alula 4(1): 4 - 11
  • Clement, Peter, and Tim Worfolk (1995) Southern and eastern Great Grey Shrikes in northwest Europe Birding World 8(8) 300-309

External linksEdit