Red-backed Shrike (Male)
Red-backed Shrike (Male breeding plumage)
Red-backed Shrike (Female)
Red-backed Shrike (Male)
Scientific Name 
Lanius collurio
Arabic Name 
الصرد احمر الظهر
Kuwaiti name 
رماني زياني
18.0 cm
Least Concern


Very common passage migrant; rare winter and summer visitor. Most birds pass in spring. The species used to be abundant in the past and remarkable numbers used to fly through Kuwait; over 1000 recorded in mid May 1966.
Where in Kuwait 
During passage it can be seen all over Kuwait, sitting on fences, trees and bushes waiting patiently for prey. In some years, there are eruptions of this species as they pass through in big numbers over a week or so
In the world 
It has an extremely large range with a decreasing population, but is showing some signs of recovery. It breeds throughout most of Europe except for most of the northern areas, central and southern Iberia and many Mediterranean islands. It migrates via south-east Europe to tropical and southern Africa and north-west India for the winter. These 'larders' have earned the species the name 'butcher bird', and according to superstition the red-backed shrike only feeds when it has killed nine creatures. The name 'nine killer' comes from the German 'neunmoder.
Local threats 
Indiscriminate shooting and pesticides which reduce their prey items