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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Shrikes/Laniidae

Lesser Grey Shrike/Lanius minor - Adult

L 19-21 cm. Breeds in open terrain with cultivations, fruit orchards, avenues of poplars and scattered trees and groves (but not in woodland). Warmth-loving, is most at home in lowland. Often seen scanning from roadside telephone wires.
IDENTIFICATION: Size between Great Grey and Red-backed Shrikes. Large rounded head, stout bill. Like Great Grey (similar colours and white primary patch), but adult differs in black forehead and forecrown (solid black and more extensive on male, smaller and mottled grey on female), longer primary projection and proportionately slightly shorter and less strongly rounded tail. Breast and belly pale salmon-pink. - Juvenile: Lacks black on forehead. Vermiculated on crown and mantle, but not below (reverse of juv. Great Grey).
VOICE: Rather silent. Call a Magpie-like chacking, ‘tsche-tsche’. Song a hard and screaming parakeet-like ‘tschilip!’, given at intervals from treetop or doubled in display-flight. A rasping, drawn-out song full of mimicry is also heard, apparently mostly from unpaired males.

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