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Why Lanius?

Lanius is the generic name for the true shrikes, globally around 27 species in all according to one authority. Ten are on my life-list but the Red-backed Shrike, Lanius collurio, is special for me. While in Africa in the 1970s I ringed around 3,500 birds of over 260 species in four years and my sole international recovery was of a male Red-backed Shrike subsequently reported when shot in Syria – Lanius species have remained special to me ever since.

 

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Red-backed Shrike, Lanius collurio, John Hawkins