Loggerhead Shrike

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image: loggerheadshrike.jpg

Common Name: Loggerhead Shrike

Scientific Name: Lanius ludovicianus

Size: 9 inches (23cm)

Habitat: North American; found from Canada to Mexico. It inhabits ecotones, grasslands, and other open habitats and feeds on a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate prey.

Status: Vulnerable. Global Population: 4,200,000 Mature individuals. Its decline is attributable to habitat destruction and pesticides. It is “Blue Listed” on the Channel Islands and in California. There have been appreciable drops in population east of the Mississippi River as well. It became “Threatened” in Canada in 1986 and “Endangered” in 1991. It is currently under evaluation of listing in the United States.

Diet: Large insects, but can include small birds and mice.

Breeding: These are monogamous birds and pairs will raise 2-3 broods of 4-8 eggs each during each nesting season. Both the male and female Shrikes into a cup shape construct its nest of woven twigs and strips of bark. The nest is found on a large branch of a tree or shrub from three to thirty feet off the ground.

Cool Facts: The Loggerhead Shrike is found throughout North America. The Shrike’s diet consists mostly of large insects, but can include small birds and mice. It makes its kills by a sharp blow from its beak. This unusual form of attack is because it lacks the sharp talons found on raptors. The food is then cached on barbed wire or thorned shrubs, earning the shrike the nickname “butcher bird”.


Found in Songbird ReMix Threatened Endangered Extinct 1

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