Shrikes are a charismatic group of small- to medium-sized birds with striking raptor-hooked bills and a face mask that gives them the look of small, fierce highwaymen. Their Latin name, Lanius, means butcher, and shrikes are commonly kwn as butcher-birds for their habit of impaling insect prey on the thorns of bushes. This book is the first complete guide to the thirty-one species in three genera of the family Laniidae. Along with superb illustrations and range maps to facilitate successful field identification of all the shrike species, this useful book contains the most recent information on the entire shrike family. Shrikes are found throughout most of the Palearctic region and North America. The smallest member of the family, Emin's Shrike, lives in central Africa and is about the size of a house finch or greenfinch. The populations of many shrike species-including the Great Grey Shrike, the Lesser Grey Shrike, the Woodchat Shrike, and the Red-backed Shrike in Europe and the Loggerhead Shrike in North America-have declined alarmingly, in large part due to changing farming methods. To conserve their numbers, all are w legally protected. This thorough book discusses termilogy, classification, the general biology of shrikes, and conservation issues. Its baseline data on the shrikes of the world will provide a solid foundation for all future work on the species.
Norbert Lefranc is a nature conservation officer at the Ministry of the Environment in Metz and is in charge of all nature conservation in Lorraine. Tim Worfolk is a leading bird illustrator whose work has been published in British Birds, Birding World, and Birdwatch. He is currently working on several other regional guides and identification guides to other bird families.