Breeding throughout mountainous regions of southern Europe and across to the Himalayas these birds are migratory, overwintering in southern Africa or central India. Worldwide, there are a total of ten subspecies from the nominate species, apus melba.
Shrikes are medium sized predatory birds with hooked bills, sometimes known as butcher birds in recognition of the way in which they catch their prey and feed (from the Latin genus derivative Lanius meaning butcher).
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