BirdLife confirms first record of a rare Brown Shrike in Malta

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BirdLife confirms first record of a rare Brown Shrike in MaltaThe first record of a rare Brown Shrike in Malta has been confirmed this morning by BirdLife Malta ornithologists .

It was sighted yesterday in the south of Malta, with the first photographs taken earlier today by BirdLife Malta.

Although it is the first record for Malta, in the recent past it has been seen sporadically in Europe although it is still considered as a rarity, said the NGO.

At this time of the year the bird, which is found mainly in Asia, is normally on migration to its winter quarters in tropical Asia from its breeding grounds in temperate Asia.BirdLife confirms first record of a rare Brown Shrike in MaltaBLM said that the genus name for the bird – Lanius – is derived from the Latin word for “butcher” and some shrikes are also known as “butcher birds” because of their feeding habits. The specific cristatus is Latin for “crested” used in a broader sense than in English.

The common English name “shrike” is from Old English scríc, “shriek,” referring to its shrill call. More scientific details can be found here: http://bit.ly/2gZdHOx

Most commonly seen in Malta is the Woodchat Shrike a species that has also bred here.

The Brown Shrike, like most shrikes, has a distinctive black “bandit-mask” through the eye and is found mainly in open scrub habitats, where it perches on the tops of thorny bushes in search of prey.

Photographs by BirdLife Malta

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