Last summer I saw this bird in the countryside of Bulgaria (Dobrich area) and I think this is a specimen of Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor).

Lanius Excubitor Lanius Excubitor

By looking more in detail the distribution of that bird (I checked in few books including the Collins Bird Guide in French edition), I noticed it is present in Bulgaria but only in winter season. However I took this pictures in August 2017.

First, is it really a specimen of Lanius excubitor?

And if yes, should it be reported in some way?

I know some other countries have reporting tool on Internet but I have no clue about observations in Bulgaria.

  • $\begingroup$ You can report any observation worldwide on www.observado.org If you add a picture your observations will usually be corrected if wrong. $\endgroup$ – RHA Mar 24 '18 at 18:57

It is NOT a Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor).

It is a young Lanius minor Lesser Grey Shrike (which breeds in Bulgaria). I say young (born the same year) because of the white tips of the feathers (they are new) and not so extended black mask (which probably induced you into the ID mistake).

I attach a picture of young Lesser Grey Shrike for comparison.

Generally you can report your observation on ebird. There is a team checking the unusual observations (although for Europe at least many mistakes are not picked up).

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting answer, in fact I elimiate this specimen because they show it most of the time with rose coloring on the side (adults), and the young one were more brownish on the back, but I think you're right. $\endgroup$ – рüффп Apr 2 '18 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ I have seen both species many times and thanks to your good pictures I have absolutely no doubt on the identification $\endgroup$ – have fun Apr 3 '18 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ Accepting the answer as I also found evidence for the white stripes on the back for the juvenile in another book. $\endgroup$ – рüффп May 27 '18 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ it's a characteristic common to the juveniles of many bird species $\endgroup$ – have fun May 28 '18 at 20:34

The wiki article for the great grey shrike is very good and it says:

Females are more prone to migration than males; they do not appear to migrate, on average, longer or shorter distances than males, and consequently are the dominant sex in many parts of the winter range. Birds leave for winter quarters a more or less short time after breeding – July to October, with most birds staying to September – and return to nest mainly in March/April, but some only arrive in May.

So perhaps it was not out of season. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_grey_shrike#Distribution_and_habitat

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  • $\begingroup$ What is confusing in the wikipedia is the end of the paragraph you mentions: "In recent decades, the number of birds remaining on the breeding grounds all year has been noted to increase e.g. in Fennoscandia, whereas for example borealis seems to be as rare a winter visitor in northern Ohio as it was a century ago". That means they stay more often in the north (breeding grounds) than going down to south (central /east europe for winter). But I agree both statement can be true. $\endgroup$ – рüффп Mar 22 '18 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ yes as wiki is written by multiple and it sometimes has ambiguities for that reason. best to check google scholar to have a real study. $\endgroup$ – aliential Mar 26 '18 at 8:04

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