Red-backed Strike


Lanius collurio


I measure between 16 and 18 cm long and have a wingspan of between 24 and 27 cm. I weigh between 23 and 40 grams. The male has a gray head, a black mask over the eyes, a bright chestnut back and a black tail bordered by white. The female’s plumage is duller and tends more towards brown.



I eat big insects as well as small vertebrates like voles and lizards which I spy from my perch before swooping to catch them on the ground.


I lay four to six eggs in May or June which hatch about two weeks later. The chicks are fed for two weeks in the nest, then each parent takes care of half of the clutch for three more weeks.


I can live for up to 10 years.

Where and when can you find me in the reserve ?


I live in open habitats like meadows or fallow land with dense bushes in which I build my nest.

When to spot me

A migratory bird, I can be found in our latitude from May to September.

Did you know?

I store up food by spiking my prey on thorny plants or barbed wire. These food reserves are known as “larders”.

Mistaken identity

With my plumage and black mask I resemble the European penduline tit, however this species lives on the borders of wetland and does not have a hooked bill.

Conservation status

I am on the red list of nesting birds in mainland France (IUCN conservation status:  Near Threatened (NT) and on the red list of endangered nesting birds in Alsace (IUCN conservation status: Vulnerable, VU).


Over a hundred species referenced