Great Grey Shrike
Lanius excubitor

– medium-sized passerine, slightly smaller than Common Blackbird
– nocturnal/diurnal migrant
– usually migrates singly or in small groups (families?)


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, 1CY
BIF1432, 24/06/2014, Jüterbog, Germany, Mathias Putze
– long black and white tail
– black wings with extensive white bases of remiges forming a white wingband
– body upperside plain grey
– 1CY: yellowish base of bill and pale fringes of median coverts


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, 1CY
BIF1433, 24/06/2014, Jüterbog, Germany, Mathias Putze
– distinct narrow dark eye-mask, less defined in 1CY
– white wingband diagnostic also from below
– underside plain light grey


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, AD
BIF1434, 09/09/2009, Havelland, Germany, Mathias Putze
– AD with all dark bill and black eye-mask
– tail with stepped three white outermost rectrices
– white wingband broader on primaries


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, AD
BIF1435, 29/10/2012, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
– white wingband broadest on inner primaries
– narrow white trailing edge of inner primaries and secondaries -> Lesser Grey Shrike


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, AD
BIF1436, 17/04/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
– extension of white on bases of secondaries varies (-> BIF1435)
– scapulars broad margined off-white
– black eye-mask not extending to forehead, bill with distinct hook -> Lesser Grey Shrike


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, AD
BIF1437, 17/04/2013, Prignitz, Germany, Mathias Putze
– powerfull undulating flight, thus wings often folded


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, AD
BIF1438, 29/10/2012, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze


Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor, 4 EX, calls during migration
BIF2019, 23/09/2017, Werbeliner See, Germany, Patrick Franke
– short, fast and piercing trill, surprisingly similar to -> Dunlin, but higher pitched and lacks initial element

comparison species:
Lesser Grey Shrike (v)
Northern Shrike (v)
Iberian Grey Shrike (v)
Desert Grey Shrike (v)
Asian Grey Shrike (v)
Dunlin (a)

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