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Lanius collurio

warning Vulnerable
VU (C2a1,D1)

Contributed: Avner Rinot, Asaf Mayrose, Lior Kislev

The Red-backed Shrike is classified as Vulnerable (VU) due to its small and declining population. Its present population is estimated at below 1,000 adults and its rate of decline is estimated to exceed 10% over 3 generations (12 years). In the previous edition of the red book (2002), it was classified as Near Threatened (NT). The change in the species threat category reflects continued decreases in population size and range.
VU Current Regional Assessment | NT Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Parks & Woodlands, Rural Areas
Presence In Israel Summer Breeder, Migrant
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Long Range
Zoography Zones Mediterranean
Landscape Formations Mountainous
Vegetation Formations Mediterranean Maquis, Mediterranean Garrigue, Steppe
Vegetation Densities Low, Medium
Nest Locations Tree, Bushes
Diet Types Invertebrate
Foraging Grounds Ground, Trees and Shrubs
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Pesticide Poisoning, Habitat Desctruction, Habitat Fragmentation

The Red-backed Shrike is a medium-sized shrike with relatively long tail and wings. The male is prominently colored with a black mask around its eyes, a light gray head and neck and a chestnut-colored back. The females and immatures are paler and barred, and lack the black mask.

The Red-backed Shrike is a common passage migrant throughout Israel in spring and fall migration, and a common summer breeder on Mt. Hermon and rare in the northern Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee.

Nests in shrubs, sparse woodland and at the edges of agricultural groves. During migration can be seen on trees and shrubs in all habitats.

The main threat to Red-backed Shrikes in Israel is habitat modification due to development, afforestation and agriculture in the northern Golan Heights, as well as road building, and development of ski runs and other installations on Mt. Hermon. In agricultural areas, the species is probably affected adversely by pesticides, and in wintering and migration areas in Africa by habitat change, desertification and depletion of food sources.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

  • ישראלי, נ. ופרלמן, י. 2013. סיכום סקר עופות מקננים בחרמון. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
Contributed: Avner Rinot, Asaf Mayrose, Lior Kislev

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

Lanius senator
Lanius nubicus
Lanius excubitor
Lanius minor