Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Loggerhead Shrike

 It may be hard to believe but this little passerine is as fierce a predator as an eagle or a hawk. The loggerhead shrike can be found in open woodland habitats through most of Mexico, the U.S. and south central Canada. Birds living in the southern part of the range are year long residents while northern birds migrate south for the winter.
Loggerhead shrike are an ambush hunter. They are often seen perched in a place with an unobstructed view where they can watch for prey, which includes insects, lizards, small rodents and birds. Since they do not have the strong feet or talons of a raptor they have to catch their prey with their beak. The beak is equipped with a tomial tooth, a triangular notch on the upper beak, just like falcons have. It uses this notch to sever the spinal cord of its prey. Once dead the shrike will impale its prey on a stick or the barb on barbed wire. This holds the prey while the shrike uses its hooked beak to rip bite sized pieces. This hunting style has earned the loggerhead shrike the nickname Butcher Bird.



23 comments:

Pearl said...

I've seen their prey pierced as if by a butterfly collector on a thorn bush.

Carver said...

That's a beautiful little bird. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

Roger Owen Green said...

looks like a goody two-shoes bird; much more ferocious, apparently

Leslie: said...

I love the markings on this little bird.

Leslie
abcw team

HansHB said...

Great photos, Perfect for WBW!
Well done!

ewok1993 said...

so cute and yet deadly.

mick said...

Great photos of an interesting bird.

Ken Schneider said...

So true-- they really have a viscious streak, yet they often perch together with blackbirds and mockingbirds. In our neighborhood it seems that dragonflies and grasshoppers have more to fear from them than warm-blooded creatures.

Karen said...

Cute but nasty!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I couldn't believe it when I first learned about this bird! Nice pictures .

LONDONLULU said...

Never judge a book by it's cover, they say. Sweet looking but as fierce as they come!

Marie said...

Wonderful L bird! Great photos and info!

Andrea said...

Wow, never in my wildest dreams. His greatest attack tool is his seemingly gentle appearance. I love this WBW ... I have learned so much, most of which is how much I don't know. Thank you for the pictures and your always well informed explanations. You are just awesome ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Rosy said...

Very pretty bird here. :)

Stewart M said...

Nice bird - I like shrikes.

Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW- Stewart M - Melbourne

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Wow...what a cool bird and fascinating information you shared...quite a handsome bird as well~

Neil said...

Beautiful photos.

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