BECAUSE of the habit of pinning up spare food on thorns the Red-backed Shrike (Lanius c. collurio) was far better known in Essex, when I lived there, as the Larder Bird. Unfortunately it has become so scarce there that few of the present generation have any knowledge of the bird. This habit of impaling food that is not needed at the moment must be instinctive. I think that all individuals do it pr...

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