Great Grey Shrike Bird is a large, pale shrike with a big head and long tail, which is often twitched from side to side. The crown, mantle and rump are clean grey, the tail is black with white sides. Great Grey Shrike Bird has a bold black mask stretching from the top of the bill across the face to the rear of the cheek, highlighted by a white supercilium. The wings are rather short and black, with a bold white patch on the inner primaries and white tips to the tertials. The underparts are white. Usually seen perched on top of a prominent lookout post, scanning for prey, and it will occasionally hover.
Great Grey Shrike Bird is a scarce passage migrant and winter visitor to Britain, with an average of 60 widely scattered birds wintering annually. Great Grey Shrike Bird is a summer visitor to Scandinavia and also breeds across continental Europe, where it is partially sedentary. A bird of open country, more so than other shrikes, it favours open spaces with a scattering of bushes and trees, yet in winter can adapt to almost treeless environments so long as raised perches are available. It breeds in partly wooded tundra, birch forest, bogs, marshes, heaths and parkland, and wintering birds in Britain are often found in woodland clearings and on heaths with gorse and bushes.
The main song of Great Grey Shrike Bird is a rather simple repetition of a clipped, almost chirruping double note, often followed by a hoarse, rasping, but fairly soft trill, such as "tlip tlip...hwrrrrr... tlip tlip...hwrrrrr... tlip tlip... hwrrrrr...", frequently varied and including other higher-pitched sounds. It also gives a quiet twittering scratchy song, interspersed with harsh and raucous sounds, mimicry of other birds and finch-like twanging notes, which may be appended to the main song. It has a range of call notes, a commonly heard one being a drawn-out trilling "trr'r'r'rih" or "shr'r'r'ee", plus a harsh "khwaerrr", a raucous nasal "hwearrr", and a nasal "shack" that may be repeated in a Magpielike chatter.