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Monday, 30 November 2009

New treatment of the 'grey' shrike complex


First-winter Saxaul Grey Shrike at Lound GP, Nottinghamshire, October 2009 (Ken Roberts)

Following the publication of some major scientific work on the 'grey' shrikes of North Africa and Europe, the UK400 Club/BBA proposes to treat DESERT GREY SHRIKE as a full species from 1 January 2009.

Paper Link :

The WESTERN PALEARCTIC list will be affected as such -:

NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE (Lanius excubitor) comprises nominate excubitor, hometeri, leucopterus, sibiricus, and a number of marginal isolated recognised forms occurring in central and eastern Asia.

SOUTHERN/IBERIAN GREY SHRIKE (Lanius meridionalis) restricted to southern France and Iberia.

SAXAUL GREY SHRIKE (Lanius pallidirostris) comprising nominate pallidirostris and lahtora, although latter requires more study and may merit individual status or link with Chinese Great Grey Shrike..

DESERT GREY SHRIKE (Lanius elegans) - now includes North African forms algierensis, aucheri and elegans as well as koenigi found on the Canary Islands. It also includes theresae, which breeds in northern Israel.

As far as the combined British and Irish List is concerned. ONLY Northern Grey and Saxaul Grey Shrikes have been recorded