January 2009
World Book Science Dataset;1/1/2009, p1
Reference Entry
Shrike, the common name of a family of birds found in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa, There are about 70 species. Shrikes are small birds of prey with large heads and strong, hooked bills. Their plumage is usually a combination of gray and black. Shrikes have a melodious warbling song, which they often interrupt with sharp cries or shrieks. They feed chiefly on insects, mice, and smaller birds. Shrikes are. often called butcherbirds because they impale their prey on sharp twigs, thorns, or barbed wire much as a butcher hangs meat on a hook. The shrike builds a cup-shaped nest of twigs, grasses, and moss in a bush or a tree. The female lays two to eight eggs.


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