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Shrikes: Laniidae

Physical Characteristics

Shrikes range in size from 5.7 to 19.6 inches (14.5 to 50 centimeters) and can weigh anywhere from 0.6 to 3.52 ounces (18 to 100 grams). They are predatory birds, living by feeding on other animals, and they usually have sharply hooked, raptor-like beaks and powerful legs. With so many species in the family, shrikes' coloring varies widely. Some are vividly colored in greens, reds, and yellows, such as the yellow-crowned gonolek and the gray-headed bush shrike, but many others are dramatically patterned with black masks and wing bars, showing pure white underneath and deep black, gray, or russet, a reddish brown, upperparts. The helmet shrikes are known for their bristly feathers on their forehead and, usually, colored wattles, fleshy folds of skin, around their eyes. Except for a few species, including the red-backed shrike, males and females of this family do not look very different. Young shrikes tend to be brown and have many wavy lines and patterns throughout their plumage, feathers.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsShrikes: Laniidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, White Helmet-shrike (prionops Plumatus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, SHRIKES AND PEOPLE