Woodchat Shrike

Lanius senator

Can be found in

Woodchat shrike









The Woodchat Shrike is both a passage migrant and a summer visitor with its own breeding subspecies which arrives on the Island in the spring. It is a common bird frequently seen on power lines or posts at the side of many roads around Mallorca. They are regular visitors to the Boquer Valley, the area around Mondragó National Park and Albufera, where they can be seen at various high-level vantage points.

Technical description

Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator) is a member of the shrike family Laniidae. The woodchat breeds in southern Europe, the Middle East and northwest Africa and winters in tropical Africa. It breeds in open cultivated country, preferably with orchard trees and some bare or sandy ground. This migratory medium-sized passerine eats large insects, small birds and amphibians. Like other shrikes, it hunts from prominent perches and impales corpses on thorns or barbed wire as a “larder”. The male is a striking bird with black and white plumage and a chestnut crown. In the female and young birds, the upperparts are brown and vermiculated. Underparts are buff and also vermiculated.

Other birds in the Shrikes family