Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another Shrew Predator: the Northern Shrike

The shrike is back. When he returned, a flurry of dozens of nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees and redpolls flew off the tree and back into the woods. Only the blue jays have no fear of this small, carnivorous songbird. The shrike was perched behind the trunk of the tree, but when I rapped on the window, he bounced over in front of the camera as we see him here. He thought the window rapping was the sound of a rodent he could eat.

Soon enough, the shrike caught and flew off with a shrew that was eating bird seed under the bird tree. The bird fluttered down with its wings outstretched. On the ground, he covered his prey with his wings arched over his "shoulders," much like Dracula does with his cape in the movies. With one tiny hop, the shrike picked the shrew up with his talons and flew off to hang his kill in a thorn bush.

Sophie has eaten 5 shrews, the cats have eaten only 2 and I have witnessed the shrike eating 2.

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  1. These are stunning birds in there own right. I have never seen one in the wild but I think I'm right in saying that they visit the UK... Certainly a wolf in sheeps clothing.. ;o)


    Wiggers World

  2. Great capture of the Northern Shrike. A fascinating bird. I have only seen one (that I know of) once and he was to fast for a picture. MB


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