Shrikes and Bush-Shrikes
Including Wood-Shrikes, Helmet-Shrikes, Flycatcher-Shrikes, Philentomas, Batises, and Wattle-Eyes
Tony Harris

Illustrated by Kim Franklin


Shrikes are a group of spectacular predators, many with brilliant colors and striking displays and sounds. Located in North America, Eurasia, and Africa, they occupy a wide spectrum of terrestrial habitats, from sparsely vegetated deserts to tropical forests, and have diverse foraging and breeding strategies. Capturing this diversity is the primary goal of Shrikes and Bush-Shrikes, the first field guide to cover the identification, biology, and relationships of all 114 species of shrikes and their close relatives.

All species are portrayed in 41 beautiful color plates, consisting of over 480 illustrations that depict differences in sex, age, geographical variation, and flight pattern. Facing the plates are identification captions and color distribution maps for at-a-glance reference. Detailed species accounts provide current knowledge on field identification, plumage descriptions, geographical variation, moult, distribution, movements, foraging behavior, food, sounds, and breeding behavior. The guide provides an explanation of the history of relationships within the group, highlighting issues of conservation and species identification. For each genus, acoustic and visual signals are summarized and used to map similarities in an effort to identify species from the perspective of behavioral communication.

Shrikes and Bush-Shrikes responds to the great interest in shrikes that has developed over the last century, along with controversies surrounding their origins and classification. It offers new identification strategies as well as extensive information in a format designed to please everyone from birders to conservationists to ornithologists.

Tony Harris is Associate Curator in the Department of Birds at the Transvaal Museum in South Africa, where he established the Fitzpatrick Bird Communication Library. He has undertaken extensive fieldwork and sound recording in southern Africa and has been researching shrike taxonomy and systematics for many years. He is the author of Shrikes of Southern Africa. Kim Franklin, a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists, has exhibited his work in countries throughout Europe and Africa. His illustrations have appeared in numerous books, including Birds of the Western Palearctic, Birds of the Indian Subcontinent, and the award-winning Parrots.