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loggerhead shrike

Lanius ludovicianus

Description:

A small gray, black, and white bird of open areas, the Loggerhead Shrike hardly appears to be a predator. But it uses its hooked beak to kill insects, lizards, mice, and birds, and then impales them on thorns to hold them while it rips them apart.

Habitat:

open woodland

Notes:

The Loggerhead Shrike is a predator, but it does not have the strong feet and talons of a raptor. It does have a strongly hooked bill for gripping flesh, and a strong notch or "tooth" near the bill tip that helps sever the spinal cord of its prey. It uses thorns and barbed wire to hold large prey while it rips it up, and may wedge prey into a fork in a branch for the same purpose.

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SusanEllison
Spotted by
SusanEllison

Texas, USA

Spotted on Sep 8, 2013
Submitted on Sep 10, 2013

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