Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor pallidirostris) EE - Iran Great Grey Shrikes (Lanius excubitor) usually sit conspicuously on the tops of bushes or posts, scanning for prey such as rodents and small birds as seen in this accompanying photo. This one is the L.pallidirostris sub specie in extreme eastern Iran. Notice the black mask that fades way before reaching the forehead.

Great Grey shrikes are white underneath, pearl grey above with mostly black wings and a mostly black tail. Once again, they have a striking black mask through the eye, although this does not reach round onto the forehead as in Lesser Grey Shrike. Notice how the wing tips don’t even reach the back part of the tail.

The great grey shrike is the largest of the shrikes in Iran. The population is good in Iran and they also breed in quiet good numbers along the north and north east and extreme eastern regions. They are very territorial so you’re unlikely to see more than one at once. Shrikes are often ‘mobbed’ by other birds which recognize them as dangerous predators. Keep an eye out for a medium-sized, long-tailed bird sitting at the top of a tree. The black mask and grey plumage are distinctive.