In 2013 breeding season, a pair of Lesser Grey Shrike bred again, after one year of no breeding pairs in Spain, raising up 5 chicks. Furthermore, 28 chicks born in captivity in the Vallcalent Wildlife Centre were released (a total of 109 since 2009).


From a total of 81 chicks released until 2012, 6 have returned, 2 of them in 2013. But undoubtedly the most remarkable fact is that for the first time a LGS born in captivity has bred into the wild.

The first LGS of the season, a male, was observed on 2nd July. Two days after appeared the female who accepted the male as a mate. The male was a wild bird born in the same area in 2011, and ringed as a chick. Although he also returned to the area on 2012, he did not mate any female. The female was born in captivity in 2011 and released by hacking. She also came back to the releasing point in 2012 and carried out an unsuccessful breeding attempt. The chicks of the 2013 nest have been ringed when they were still in the nest, with the aim to identify them.

On the other hand, the captivity breeding season has been not so productive as the last year, with 28 chicks released. When they were 32 days old and just at the age when they begin to hunt by themselves, these chicks were moved to the acclimatization facilities located in the last breeding area of the LGS in Spain, next to Lleida city. After 7 days inside the facilities, they were released. Once they were out of the cages they remained around, hunting and interacting with other LGS.


As every year, we help LGS with supplemenatry food by providing living insects every day, from the begining of the breeding season until the last chick left the area.

For further information on this project, please check the section Conservation of the Lesser Grey Shrike (Lanius minor) in Spain on this website.

The project for the conservation of the Lesser Grey Shrike is an initiative promoted by the Departament of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Natural Environment of the Autonomic Government of Catalonia (Generalitat de Catalunya). Both the Wildlife Centre of Vallcalent (Generalitat de Catalunya) and the Zoo of Barcelona carry out the ex situ conservation programme, that is, outside the natural habitat. Trenca Association is responsible for doing habitat improvement, wild population tracking, reintroduction of individuals as well as giving support to captive breeding work. The project is further supported by public and private entities (Departament de Territori i Sostenibilitat, Fundación Bodiversidad y Red Eléctrica de España).