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loggerhead shrike

Lanius ludovicianus


spotted at the hotel area in Corpus Christi. I did see quite a few hangin around wires by the road while travelling. The bird has a large hooked bill; the head and back are grey and the underparts white. The wings and tail are black, with white patches on the wings and white on the outer tail feather. The black face mask extends over the bill, unlike that of the similar but slightly larger Northern Shrike.


The bird breeds in semi-open areas in southern Ontario, Quebec and the Canadian prairie provinces, south to Mexico. It nests in dense trees and shrubs. The female lays 4 to 8 eggs in a bulky cup made of twigs and grass. There is an increase in average clutch size as latitude increases. The shrike is a permanent resident in the southern part of the range; northern birds migrate further south.


The bird waits on a perch with open lines of sight and swoops down to capture prey. Its food is large insects and lizards . Known in many parts as the "Butcher Bird," it impales its prey on thorns or barbed wire before eating it, because it does not have the talons of the larger birds of prey. The population of this species has declined in the northeastern parts of its range, possibly due to loss of suitable habitat and pesticide use. "Loggerhead" refers to the relatively large head as compared to the rest of the body.

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SusanEllison 10 years ago

thanks Maria

Maria dB
Maria dB 10 years ago

Nice spotting

Spotted by

Rockport, Texas, USA

Spotted on Mar 1, 2013
Submitted on Mar 10, 2013

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