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The species of October 2020


Name: Lesser grey shrike
Scientific name: 
Lanius minor

Family: Laniidae



It is a large bird, whose length is 20 cm [4.5] and its weight is 22-40 gr. Its wingspan reaches 32-34 cm [4]. The head and back of the ashes are light gray, while the lower part has a light gray-red tinge [4,5]. Its tail, legs and wings are black. In addition, its wings are long with a characteristic white streak on the outer rudders of its wings [4,5]. Its main external feature is the frontal, wide, black stripe that extends to behind the eyes, on its cheeks. Young individuals have a duller color in their plumage [1]. Its beak is black, hard, strong and curved with a curved edge [1,4,5]. The two sexes do not show any racial dimorphism and are similar to each other [1,5].

In general, they live in pairs, each choosing its own area, which it defends [5]. It nests in open lowland areas with cereal crops, pastures, rocky meadows, with scattered shrubs and trees. Their typical habitat is both open arable land and dry land from rocky meadows with small clusters of trees and shrubs [2,3,4], which start at sea level and reach up to 1000 meters altitude. His favorite habit is to sing from the top of bushes or trees that are on the borders of his territory. We will often see him on cables along the road [2].

He likes to be perched on a tall branch from which he observes his area and is always ready to attack his prey. Its food consists of insects, worms, small lizards and sometimes small birds, which it catches flying in the vegetation [5]. It also attacks small rodents, such as mice, which it holds very skillfully in proportion to its size. Its greatest peculiarity is that it likes to kill and store its prey on sharp thorns of various trees or shrubs, like other dacanoures. For this habit they are called “butchers” [1].

[1] Τα πουλιά της Κύπρου, Όλα τα πουλιά που φωλιάζουν στην Κύπρο και 200 άλλα μεταναστευτικά είδη, Λουκάς Χριστοφόρου, AFIAP, Λευκωσία 1998
[2] https://www.katakali.net/drupal/?q=poylia/staxtokefalas
[3] http://www.ornithologiki.gr/page_cn.php?tID=2718&aID=1121
[4] http://www.e-fox.gr/index.php/perivallon/prostateuomena-eidh/dendrovia-edafovia/item/304-lanius-minor/304-lanius-minor
[5] http://old.kynigesia.gr/article.asp?AID=1839
[6] http://filotis.itia.ntua.gr/species/d/6013/
[7] http://www.cylaw.org/nomoi/arith/2003_1_152.pdf


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