Family Shrikes (Laniidae)

Least Concern

Giant Grey Shrike (Lanius giganteus)


French: Pie-grièche géante German: Sichuanwürger Spanish: Alcaudón gigante
Other common names: Tibetan Shrike

Lanius giganteus


, 1887,

Hwang Ho and Kokonor


Until recently considered conspecific with L. sphenocercus, but genetically distinct#R and differs in larger size (“wing significantly longer” in HBW; allow 2); much darker grey upperparts (2); no white supercilium (2); no white flash on secondaries (2); high-elevation habitat (breeding 3000–5200 m vs 200–1100 m in HBW) (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C China (C & E Qinghai, SW Gansu, E Xizang, N & W Sichuan).

Descriptive notes

c. 29–31 cm. The largest Lanius shrike, with strongly graduated tail. Larger and darker than formerly conspecific L. sphenocercus, wing (134–147 mm vs. 119–... read more


Very poorly known. One recording of presumably territorial calls sounds not dissimilar to... read more


Occurs at or above timber-line, usually in stunted vegetation stands such as rhododendron (... read more

Food and feeding

Diet and foraging behaviour are both presumably similar to those of L. sphenocercus, but almost nothing seems to be known.


Nothing known.


Appears to be resident, undertaking only local and altitudinal movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Probably uncommon to rare throughout range, but almost no data on densities and nothing known concerning possible overall population... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Giant Grey Shrike (Lanius giganteus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 January 2020).