FEENSTRA M, UBELS B & GEERTSMA M (2021) Mixed breeding of a male Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio and a female Woodchat Shrike L. senator in the Netherlands. LIMOSA 94 (4): 155-162.
In 2018, for the first time since 1956, a Woodchat Shrike was
breeding in the Netherlands. It was a female paired with a
male Red-backed Shrike. The territory was located at the
edge of the nature-reserve De Groote Peel near Meijel in
the province of Limburg. Habitat consisted of small scale
pasture with grasses, Common Ragwort Jacobaea vulgaris
and isolated bushes of Blackberry Rubus sp., on dry, sandy
soil. The area was grazed by horses during summer.
Nest building was observed between 31 May and 2 June.
Copulations were seen on 1-4 June. From 7 June onwards
the female spent most of her time inside the 2 m high bush
where the nest was located. In the early morning of 23 June
the male frequently transported food into the nesting bush
while the female was observed twice carrying away a fecal
sac. Later that morning the feeding frequency dropped. On
25 June the male fed the female but the birds did not enter
the breeding bush anymore. A check revealed the nest at a
height of 1.2 m, the cup of the nest being filled with small
parts of egg shell and chitin remains. On 26 June the male
was building a new nest in a bush at a distance of 20 m from
the original nesting location, while the female was watching.
This nest was also situated in a Blackberry bush at a height
of 75 cm, but it was never finished. Between 26 June and 19
July the pair was observed several times, but there were no
indications for further nesting attempts.
Based on these observations, we could reconstruct that the
clutch was initiated on 3 June, and that the nest contained
small chicks on 23 June. That same day the nesting attempt
must have failed, probably due to predation of the nestlings.
The diet, based on ten pellets collected under a sitting
post of the male and one found inside the nest (probably
produced by the female) is presented in table 1.
[pdf only for members] [dutch summary]