Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator predation on migrating songbirds during a trans-Saharan stopover

Doi: https://doi.org/10.13157/arla.67.1.2020.sc4

Authors: Armando Alberto AISPURO, Clara MACHOWETZ, Marc ILLA, Gabriel GARGALLO and Ivan MAGGINI

E-mail: armandoaispuro@gmail.com

Published: Volume 67.1, January 2020. Pages 93-99.

Language: English

Keywords: body condition, caching, hunting, Morocco, Sahara Desert, scavenging and stopover


The Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator migrates alongside other trans-Saharan passerines but, unlike other shrikes, it is not known to frequently prey on birds. We describe predation, hunting and scavenging of migratory passerines by Woodchat Shrikes at a spring stopover site in the Sahara Desert. Shrikes preyed on six passerine species. Most predated birds were in poorer physical condition than their conspecifics mist-netted at the same site. We suggest Woodchat Shrikes may be more successful at hunting migratory songbirds following a debilitating barrier crossing, which may render prey more susceptible to capture by avian predators.

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