Shrikes

32 species

Shrikes are carnivorous passerine birds that have a Eurasian and African distribution, with just two species breeding in North America. They inhabit open habitats, especially steppe and savannah with only a few species of shrikes living in forests. Shrikes are known for their habit of catching insects and small vertebrates and impaling their bodies on thorns, the spikes on barbed-wire fences, or any available sharp point. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently-sized fragments and serves as a cache so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time. Shrikes are territorial, and these territories are defended from other pairs. They are generally monogamous breeders. Males attract females to their territory with well-stocked caches, which may include inedible but brightly colored items. When nesting shrikes make simple, cup-shaped nests from twigs and grasses, in bushes and the lower branches of trees.
Shrikes are carnivorous passerine birds that have a Eurasian and African distribution, with just two species breeding in North America. They inhabit open habitats, especially steppe and savannah with only a few species of shrikes living in forests. Shrikes are known for their habit of catching insects and small vertebrates and impaling their bodies on thorns, the spikes on barbed-wire fences, or any available sharp point. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently-sized fragments and serves as a cache so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time. Shrikes are territorial, and these territories are defended from other pairs. They are generally monogamous breeders. Males attract females to their territory with well-stocked caches, which may include inedible but brightly colored items. When nesting shrikes make simple, cup-shaped nests from twigs and grasses, in bushes and the lower branches of trees.