192 pages, 16 plates with colour illustrations; b/w illustrations, b/w distribution maps
Please note that this is a reprint of the 2000 edition without new information.
Shrikes are a charismatic group of birds occurring throughout most of the Old World and North America. The family Laniidae consists of 31 species in three genera, if the Southern grey shrike and great grey shrike are accepted as separate species which the author recommends. Shrikes: A Guide to the Shrikes of the World is the first to cover all the shrikes in one volume. Shrikes because of their habit of impaling their prey on the thorns of bushes, were known in the countryside as 'butcher-birds' and, indeed, their Latin name lanius means butcher. They are small to medium-sized birds. The smallest, Emin's shrike which occurs in central Africa, is about the size of a house finch or greenfinch, and the largest is the Chinese grey shrike. One of their most striking features is their raptor-like hooked bill. Another typical feature is their face mask which gives them the look of small, fierce highwaymen.
Many species are of conservation concern 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. The decline of these species has been largely caused by changing farming methods, but all are now legally protected. This brilliant book brings together the most recent information on the shrike family and the superb text and illustrations should lead to successful and safe identification of all species in the field.
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Norbert Lefranc is a Nature Conservation Officer working at the Ministry of the Environment in Metz. He is in charge of all nature conservation in Lorraine. His particular ornithological interest is in shrikes and mountain birds and he has published a number of papers on these subjects. He is author of Les Oiseaux des Vosges (1979) and Les Pies-Grieches d'Europe, d'Afrique du Nord et du Moyen-Orient (1993), the first major study of western Palearctic shrikes.
Tim Worfolk is a leading young bird illustrator whose work has been published in British Birds, Birding World and Birdwatch. He has a degree in biology and followed a varied career as nature reserve warden, postman and teacher before deciding to concentrate full-time on bird illustration. Shrikes is the first major book that he has illustrated, but he is currently working on several other regional guides and identification guides to other bird families.