Great Grey Shrike

Great Grey Shrike is songbird species. It breeds in Poland but is the most numerous during migartion and wintering time. Individuals come from colder northern and eastern part of Europe.
Polish name „srokosz” means this species has simmilar voice and is simmilar coloured as sroka (polish name of Magpie Pica pica). The latin genus name Lanius is translated as butcher because of its feeding habits.
The shrike’s bill is large and hooked at the tip. This species feeds on vertebrates such as rodents, sonbirds, amphibians, lizards and large invertebrates. At winter eats especially rodents and birds.
Great Grey Shrike doesn’t have talons and is not able to hold onto pray to eat but has special feeding tactic – impales its victims on spike! Moreover this brid leave surplus food in „larders”. Shrikes use it for example during bad weather.
The latin species name excubitor means guard. Great Grey Shrike observes neighborhood form topmost branch of a tree or telegraph pole to hunt and spot danger such as predators. It can spot a predator a long before human. It is caused by similar to birds of prey special vision (macula retina). Objects seen by Shrikes are sharper.
We should use this great time with numerous Great Grey Shrikes to observe their biology and feeding habits. Remember, this small bird will notice you porobably faster than you will use your binoculars 🙂