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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.

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limosa 94.4 2021
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