Family Shrikes (Laniidae)

Least Concern

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 fairly long tail. Male nominate race has black facial mask from lores narrowly through eye... read more


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


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

Food and feeding

Diet consists of arthropods (mostly large insects) and small vertebrates (reptiles, small mammals and birds). Nominate race prefers... read more


Laying from Jan in Israel, from Feb in Spain and N Africa, and mainly Mar–Jul elsewhere, but season Jan–Oct (mainly Mar–... read more


Mostly resident. Race pallidirostris a long-distance migrant, but some of its S... read more

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Probably not globally threatened, but until recently treated as conspecific with L. excubitor and separate evaluation now required. Locally common to... read more

Recommended citation

Yosef, R. & International Shrike Working Group (2017). 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 18 November 2017).