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Shrikes, the missing link between the songbirds and the raptors perhaps, have always been rare in Britain, not that they seem common anywhere.   Back to original page

Shrike

Shrikes, the missing link between the songbirds and the raptors perhaps, have always been rare in Britain, not that they seem common anywhere.

Now they are the kind of visitor to Britain you can count on your fingers, that kind of rarity gives a bird of any appearance beauty, which the Red Backed Shrike , whose colours I have used and accentuated here, certainly has.

Butcher bird… (detail of above)

All shrikes have a practice of impaling quarry, from insects to small rodents and birds on thorns, sharp protrusions, barbed wire included. 


All shrikes have a practice of impaling quarry, from insects to small rodents and birds on thorns, sharp protrusions, barbed wire included. 
This is not only to store, and secure for tearing apart quarry, but sometimes to help attract a mate as well.
This detail from the top right quarter of the painting highlights that, I felt putting this into the painting would help give it identity.
That done, I would prefer to avoid the term though, it sounds derogatory some how, and it also applies to an unrelated order of Australian birds with the same practice. 

3 x 2 ft acrylic on canvas.

 

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