Family Shrikes (Laniidae)


Iberian Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis)


French: Pie-grièche méridionale German: Iberienraubwürger Spanish: Alcaudón real
Other common names: Southern Grey Shrike

Lanius meridionalis


, 1820,

Provence, France


Until mid-1990s treated as conspecific with L. excubitor, but then separated, with assumption that populations and taxa to S (and some to E) belonged with it; recent analysis#R, however, links it with taxa now separated as L. borealis but suggests that it is better treated as an isolated species. Single diagnostic plumage character is pink wash to pale grey underparts (score 2), but detailed vocal analysis may yet reveal significant differences in vocabulary (suggested by available recordings, but may be artefact of sample size). Monotypic.


Iberian Peninsula and S France.

Descriptive notes

24–25 cm; 48–93 g (mostly 50–70 g). A rather large shrike with a fairly long tail. Male has black mask from lores narrowly through eye back to rear ear-... read more


Wide variety of calls. Repeated double “kwi-rick”, “sheenk-sheenk” or... read more


Fairly open country dotted with thorny bushes in dry and warm, sunny lowlands to 1200 m. Occupies... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists of arthropods (mostly large insects, 10–30 mm in length) and small vertebrates (reptiles, small mammals and birds).... read more


Laying begins in Feb, but in S France (Crau), 80% of eggs are laid between 10 Apr and 10 May. Monogamous and territorial. Single-brooded.... read more


Mostly resident, albeit with some individuals moving short distances north in the non-breeding... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Until recently treated as conspecific with L. excubitor and separate evaluation first effected in 2017. Locally common to uncommon. Global population... read more

Recommended citation

Yosef, R., International Shrike Working Group, Sharpe, C.J., Marks, J.S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Iberian Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis). 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 12 December 2019).