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(shrikes), a family of birds of the order Passeri-formes. The birds range from 16 to 36 cm in length. The bill is hooked at the tip, and the tail is long and narrow. Gray, white, and black are the predominant colors; some species are brightly colored in green, yellow, or red. The 72 species are distributed in Europe, Africa, Asia (including New Guinea), and North America (two species). The northern species are migratory. Shrikes inhabit open country with shrubs and occasional trees. Their diet consists of insects and small vertebrates.