Medium-sized bird (L 17 cm). Male unmistakable, with combination of reddish-brown and black "highwayman's mask". Breeds in open cultivated country, woodlands clearings and bushy heaths, especially in thorny areas (sloe and hawthorn). When food is in good supply it spears the surplus on thorns or branch ends and in this way the bird lays up reserves for days of bad weather. Feeds chiefly on large insects. Migrant.
Reasons for the need for protection/inclusion in annex I
There is a widespread and continuing decline in range in the EU, probably due mainly to loss and deterioration of habitat through intensification of farming, including the increased use of pesticides and afforestation.
yellow = summer visitor
green = resident
blue = winter visitor
600,000 / 1,000,000 pairs
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