Shrike (?), n. [Akin to Icel. skrikja a shrieker, the shrike, and E. shriek; cf. AS. scric a thrush. See Shriek, v. i.] Zool.
Any one of numerous species of oscinine birds of the family Laniidae, having a strong hooked bill, toothed at the tip. Most shrikes are insectivorous, but the common European gray shrike (Lanius excubitor), the great northern shrike (L. borealis), and several others, kill mice, small birds, etc., and often impale them on thorns, and are, on that account called also butcher birds. See under Butcher.
⇒ The ant shrikes, or bush shrikes, are clamatorial birds of the family Formicaridae. The cuckoo shrikes of the East Indies and Australia are Oscines of the family Campephagidae. The drongo shrikes of the same regions belong to the related family Dicruridae. See Drongo.
Crow shrike. See under Crow. -- Shrike thrush. (a) Any one of several species of Asiatic timaline birds of the genera Thamnocataphus, Gampsorhynchus, and allies. (b) Any one of several species of shrikelike Australian singing birds of the genus Colluricincla. -- Shrike tit. (a) Any one of several Australian birds of the genus Falcunculus, having a strong toothed bill and sharp claws. They creep over the bark of trees, like titmice, in search of insects. (b) Any one of several species of small Asiatic birds belonging to Allotrius, Pteruthius, Cutia, Leioptila, and allied genera, related to the true tits. Called also hill tit. -- Swallow shrike. See under Swallow.
© Webster 1913.