The Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator migrates alongside other trans-Saharan passerines but, unlike other shrikes, it is not known to frequently prey on birds. We describe predation, hunting and scavenging of migratory passerines by Woodchat Shrikes at a spring stopover site in the Sahara Desert. Shrikes preyed on six passerine species. Most predated birds were in poorer physical condition than their conspecifics mist-netted at the same site. We suggest Woodchat Shrikes may be more successful at hunting migratory songbirds following a debilitating barrier crossing, which may render prey more susceptible to capture by avian predators.
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