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Birding Málaga


Common name Woodchat shrike
Scientific name Lanius senator
Type Farmland birds
Status Summer

Small to medium size bird (approx 18 cm or 7 in), easily distinguishable. White belly and throat, black back with white stripes on the wings, black mask covering the eyes, red crown and nape. The tail is black. Hook-shaped bill, similar to that of a small raptor.



Where it lives

Typical of the Mediterranean landscapes of open countryside, with scattered trees and bushes. Also usual in grasslands, olive groves, thickets and cultivated fields.

How it lives

Summer bird present in Malaga only during the breeding period. The Woodchat Shrike breeds between the months of April and May with two annual layings, with 6 eggs in each. It feeds on insects, lizards and even micromammals that it catches on the ground. This bird acts like a small raptor but without claws, using only its bill. Its hunting technique consists of perching alone on high points (fences, poles, cables) covering open areas from there and watching the ground.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

It is a frequent and easy to see bird. Usually perched in the high branches of the bushes, on fences, wires or walls. Present virtually at almost all the stages of the Great Path.

Curious facts

Shrikes are small predators that use thorny shrubs to impale their victims and facilitate their consumption. The Woodchat Shrike is considered a bio-indicator of sustainable agricultural practices in crops such as vineyards.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration