Shrikes (Family Laniidae)
Shrikes are passerine birds of the Family Laniidae. The family is com-
posed of thirty one species in three genera. The family name, and that
of the largest genus, Lanius, is derived from the Latin word for "butcher",
and some shrikes were also known as "butcher birds" because of their
Most shrike species have a Eurasian and African distribution, with just
two breeding in North America (the loggerhead and great grey shrikes).
They inhabit open habitats, especially steppe and savannah. A few spe-
cies of shrike are forest dwellers, seldom occurring in open habitats.
Some species breed in northern latitudes during the summer, then mi-
grate to warmer climes for the winter.
Shrikes are medium-sized birds, up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) in
length, with grey, brown, or black and white plumage. Their beaks are
hooked, like that of a bird-of-prey, reflecting their predatory nature, and
their calls are strident.
Crooked Run Valley