Northern Shrike - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Northern Shrike - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Northern Shrike - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image Northern Shrike - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
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Northern Shrike
Lanius excubitor

Shrikes and Vireos
Shrike Family (Laniidae)

Size: Length: 23-27.5 cm Wingspan: 34-43 cm

Description: An occasional winter resident, the northern shrike is a unique bird. They resemble a cross between a songbird and a hawk. This is advantageous as its prey includes smaller songbirds along with small mammals, and insects. They are a large, jay sized bird with a gray crown, nape and back, black wings and tail, and a white underside. The bill is slightly hooked and there is a black mask running through the eye. The feet are not well designed to hold prey, so they resort to impaling their food on thorns and barbed wire. This has earned it the nickname "butcher bird". In fact, the genus Lanius, literally translates to butcher.

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All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

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