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butcher bird,

predatory songbird found in most parts of the world except Australia and South America. The plumage of the European and North American species is mostly gray, black, and white; the tail is long and rounded, and the wings are rather short. Some African species are brilliantly colored. The name butcher bird reflects its habit of impaling its prey—small birds and mammals and large insects—on a thorn or sharp twig before tearing it apart with its strong, tip-hooked beak. North American shrikes include the loggerhead, great gray or northern, and California shrikes. Shrikes are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Laniidae.


An air-to-surface solid-fuel guided missile that homes in on enemy radar installations.


1. any songbird of the chiefly Old World family Laniidae, having a heavy hooked bill and feeding on smaller animals which they sometimes impale on thorns, barbed wire, etc.
2. any of various similar but unrelated birds, such as the cuckoo shrikes
3. shrike thrush or tit another name for thickhead (the bird)
References in periodicals archive ?
After field measurements, shrikes were transported to the laboratory (<25 mins) and body mass was determined to the nearest 0.
2009) found that tail length and the extent of black on the outermost rectrices were the best predictors of sex in northern shrikes (Lanius excubitor) on the basis of their discriminant function analysis (DFA).
David Hutton posted on the West Midlands Bird Club site: "Red-backed shrike at Ladywalk
But Forestry Commission Wales conservation rangers spotted at least three great grey shrikes in the forest last month.
Trillers and thick-billed shrikes were added to the agency's list of endangered species in 1998.
In Eastern Turkey, beautiful birds called red-backed shrikes (rare in Britain) are blinded by having their eyes poked out with sticks.
Bull-headed Shrikes (Lanius bucephalus) build an open-cup nest in shrubs or bushes (Yamagishi 1981, Takagi and Abe 1996).
Great grey shrikes are at World's End and in the Clocaenog Forest, while hawfinches are still at Llanbedr-y-Cennin and Llanelltyd churchyards.
The Santa Clara River valley is one of the last strongholds for loggerhead shrikes in Los Angeles County.
Majestic Great Grey Shrikes have arrived in their biggest numbers for several years.
A Jack Snipe was at RSPB Conwy and two Great Grey Shrikes remain at World's End.
Characteristics of breeding territories of Redbacked Shrikes (Lanius collurio) have previously been described in a number of studies (Cramp and Perrins 1993, Olsson 1995b, Lefranc and Worfolk 1997, Harris and Franklin 2000, Guerriere and Castaldi 2006, Casale and Brambilla 2009).