Shrikes are a charismatic group of small- to medium-sized birds with striking raptor-hooked bills and a face mask that gives them the look of small, fierce highwaymen. Their Latin name, Lanius, means butcher, and shrikes are commonly known as "butcher-birds" for their habit of impaling insect prey on the thorns of bushes. This book is the first complete guide to the thirty-one species in three genera of the family Laniidae. Along with superb illustrations and range maps to facilitate successful field identification of all the shrike species, this useful book contains the most recent information on the entire shrike family. Shrikes are found throughout most of the Palearctic region and North America. The smallest member of the family, Emin's Shrike, lives in central Africa and is about the size of a house finch or greenfinch. The populations of many shrike species-including the Great Grey Shrike, the Lesser Grey Shrike, the Woodchat Shrike, and the Red-backed Shrike in Europe and the Loggerhead Shrike in North America-have declined alarmingly, in large part due to changing farming methods. To conserve their numbers, all are now legally protected. This thorough book discusses terminology, classification, the general biology of shrikes, and conservation issues. Its baseline data on the shrikes of the world will provide a solid foundation for all future work on the species.