Shrikes

Front Cover
A&C Black, Sep 5, 2013 - Nature - 192 pages

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. This book 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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Contents

INTRODUCTION
7
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
9
TAXONOMY AND RELATIONSHIPS
11
OVERVIEW OF THE GENUS LANIUS
17
OVERVIEW OF THE GENUS CORVINELLA
39
OVERVIEW OF THE GENUS EUROCEPHALUS
40
STYLE AND LAYOUT OF THE BOOK
41
USEFUL ADDRESSES
45
COLOUR SECTION
47
SYSTEMATIC SECTION
81
BIBLIOGRAPHY
179
INDEX OF SCIENTIFIC AND ENGLISH NAMES
191
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Roger Lovegrove is a native of Devon but has lived in mid Wales for the past 30 years. Formerly a schoolmaster, he left teaching for a full-time career in wildlife conservation, joining the RSPB staff in 1971 as Wales Officer, a post he has held ever since. He has had a lifelong interest in British wildlife, especially birds, and has broadcast and written extensively on the subject. He has travelled widely, usually in connection with ornithological work. He has seven previous books to his name. Graham Williams was educated at King's School, Chester, and Merton College, Oxford. He was Senior Research Assistant then Senior Scientific Officer at the University of Liverpool Tidal Institute and Observatory from 1963 to 1973, working on the prediction of storm surges. He was Editor of the Cheshire Bird Report between 1964 and 1967. He joined the RSPB in 1973 as Assistant Regional Officer in the Wales Office and is now Senior Reserves Manager (Wales). He was also a member of the British Birds Rarities Committee 1975-1980 and Chairman of the Welsh Ornithological Society, 1993. Iolo Williams is a first-language Welshman, born in Builth Wells in 1962 and brought up in mid Wales. Following a degree in Ecology at London he began fieldwork with the RSPB in Wales in 1985, before being appointed to the post of Species Officer in 1989. He has travelled widely and broadcasts frequently in both Welsh and English. He is an active sportsman.

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