BPW: Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

This Loggerhead Shrike posed for us during our visit to the Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve near Kissimmee, Florida, earlier this month.

Loggerhead Shrike

Shrikes are sometimes called “butcher birds” because of the way they handle their prey. Yes, these small birds are actually predators but they lack strong talons to rip apart prey. Instead they use their hooked beaks to rip flesh off of prey which they first impale onto thorns or barbed wire.

Loggerhead Shrike

We saw shrikes twice during our Florida road trip and both times we scanned nearby fences and trees for possible impaled prey, but we didn’t see any. That’s probably for the best – my old Golden Field Guide has an illustration of a Northern Shrike perched next to an impaled mouse and that’s almost too much for me to take.

Loggerhead Shrike

For more photos of birds from all around the world, check out the other submissions for this week’s Bird Photography Weekly.

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9 Responses to BPW: Loggerhead Shrike

  1. Neil says:

    The bill is much the same as our Butcherbird here in Australia. Very good photos.

  2. Mick says:

    Great photos – and their habits are the same as our Aussie butcherbirds.

  3. gwendolen says:

    He did a great job of sitting pretty for the photo.

    “which they first impale onto thorns or barbed wire” …. ieww!

  4. bob k says:

    Awesome shots! These birds are very skittish here in Southern California and so difficult to photograph.

  5. kelly says:

    …I’ve yet to see one of these fellows. Your photos of him are wonderful!

  6. Dawn Fine says:

    Great shots Amy!
    I have yet to see things impaled ..but I keep looking!

    I dont know if this would be too far for you .but August 15th we are having a Birders who Blog, Tweet and Chirp outing meets Birdchicks Birds and Beers
    Birdchick will have a nice day planned for us..I think a boat bird ride is in store amongst other things..finishing with food and beer in the eve..at a location to be determined.
    check out this link for an idea of what is happening and get back to me if you are interested..its all free ..just pay for the cost of boats ..food etc..

    http://dawnandjeffsblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/birders-who-blog-tweet-and-chirp-outing_21.html
    Cheers!

  7. Larry Jordan says:

    Great Loggerhead Shrike captures Amy! They are a handsome bird for sure. It was very nice to pose for you eh?

  8. Kyle says:

    Great captures, Amy! I love these little shrikes, and snap as many pics as I can get any time I find them. (We’re lucky enough to have them year-round down here in Texas.) You got some really nice shots of ’em!

  9. Wren says:

    Great photos, Amy – I’ve seen but not photographed them, and this is a great look. Nice!

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