Thursday, October 13, 2011

Loggerhead Shrike

A rather infamous and undoubtedly cool bird, the Shrikes (there are 2 species) are the only predatory songbirds. To make sure other birds and raptors don't take them lightly because of their slim build or lack of talons, Shrikes often impale their prey--which varies from small insects to mice and little birds--on thorns or barbed wire, and then consume it at a more leisurely pace.
At a quick glance they look a lot like Mockingbirds with their whites and grays, as well as their tendency to perch high in trees and branches for a good vantage point. However, the bold black eyestripe is a dead giveaway. The Loggerhead is a bit smaller than its Northern counterpart, but its range extends through most of the U.S. (except New England). Neither species is common, but between the two,  it is much more likely to see the Loggerhead throughout the U.S.

This Shrike seemed to be experimenting with a more vegetarian diet.

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