Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Passeriformes > Laniidae > Lanius > Lanius excubitor

Lanius excubitor (Northern Shrike; Great Grey Shrike)

Synonyms: Lamira excubitor; Lanius excubitor galliae; Lanius excubitor homereyi; Lanius homeyeri
Language: French


EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 3.32729
EDGE Score: 1.46494


Adult Weight [1]  67 grams
Birth Weight [3]  4 grams
Breeding Habitat [2]  Arctic tundra
Wintering Geography [2]  Northern U.S./Canada
Wintering Habitat [2]  Generalist, Agricultural
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Frugivore
Diet - Ectothermic [4]  10 %
Diet - Endothermic [4]  60 %
Diet - Fruit [4]  10 %
Diet - Invertibrates [4]  10 %
Diet - Scavenger [4]  10 %
Forages - Ground [4]  100 %
Clutch Size [7]  5
Clutches / Year [3]  1
Fledging [5]  20 days
Global Population (2017 est.) [2]  2,000,000
Incubation [6]  16 days
Mating Display [8]  Non-acrobatic aerial display
Maximum Longevity [3]  12 years
Migration [9]  Intracontinental
Wing Span [6]  13 inches (.32 m)
Female Maturity [3]  11 months 5 days
Male Maturity [3]  11 months 5 days


Protected Areas

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Important Bird Areas

Name Location  IBA Criteria   Website   Climate   Land Use 
Bryansko-Zhizdrinskoye woodland Russia (European) A1, B2
Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju Finland A3, A4i, A4iii, B1i, B2, B3, C2, C3, C4, C6
Region of Junglinster Luxembourg B2, C6
Region of Mompach, Manternach, Bech and Osweiler Luxembourg B2, C6
Valley of the Attert Luxembourg B2, C6

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
California Floristic Province Mexico, United States No
Caucasus Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia, Turkey No
Irano-Anatolian Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Turkmenistan No
Mediterranean Basin Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Portugal, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey No
Mountains of Central Asia Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan No

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap


Accipiter striatus (Sharp-shinned Hawk)[11]
Falco columbarius (Merlin)[11]
Lanius collurio (Red-backed Shrike)[10]
Lanius excubitor (Northern Shrike)[10]
Megascops asio (Eastern Screech-Owl)[13]


Abies clanbrassiliana (Norway spruce)[10]
Crataegus heterophylla (Common Hawthorn)[10]


Range Map

External References


Attributes / relations provided by
1Storchová, Lenka; Hořák, David (2018), Data from: Life-history characteristics of European birds, Dryad, Dataset,
2Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
6British Trust for Ornithology
7Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
8Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
9Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
10Ecology of Commanster
11Making The Forest And Tundra Wildlife Connection
12Diet composition and spatial patterns of food caching in wintering Great Grey Shrikes (Lanius excubitor) in Bulgaria, BORIS P. NIKOLOV, NIKOLAY D. KODZHABASHEV and VASSIL V. POPOV, BIOLOGICAL LETT. 2004, 41(2): 119-133
13Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
14Avian and mammalian predators of shrews in Europe: regional differences, between-year and seasonal variation, and mortality due to predation, Erkki Korpimäki & Kai Norrdahl, Ann. Zool. Fennici 26:389-400. 1989
15Exploring the Denali Food Web, ParkWise, National Park Service
16SYMENS, P. (1988). Effects of the mass migration of desert locusts Schistocerca gregaria on birds in the Taif area. Arabia.
17Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 Wildfinder Database
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0