shrike

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shrike / shrīk/ • n. a songbird (family Laniidae) with a strong sharply hooked bill, often impaling its prey of small birds, lizards, and insects on thorns. Also called butcherbird.

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shrike (butcherbird) Small, perching bird found worldwide, except in South America and Australia. It dives at its prey – insects, small birds, mice – hitting them with its strong, hooked bill and then impaling them on a sharp fence post, twig or thorn. Family Laniidae.

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shrike XVI. of obscure orig.; corr. formations are OE. sċrīċ thrush, MLG. schrīk corncrake, rel. to vbs. cited under SHRIEK.