Friday, March 21, 2008

Learning about birds . . . Northern Shrike

So, as promised, here is a post on the Northern Shrike. This winter I saw more of these birds than I've ever seen. What's interesting is that many others reported seeing them more this yer than usual as well here in Minnesota. I wonder why . . .

Northern Shrike:
- The Northern Shrike, like other shrikes, kills more prey, if it can, than it can immediately eat or feed to nestlings. Such behavior was characterized by early observers as "wanton killing," but the Northern Shrike stores excess prey to eat later. Storing food is an adaptation for surviving periods of food scarcity.
- The Latin species name of the Northern Shrike, Lanius excubitor, means "Butcher watchman."
- The nest of the Northern Shrike is an open cup, but it is so deep that while incubating, the female is completely out of view except for the tip of her tail.

Northern Shrike

Here's a link to other posts I've made on Northern Shrike sightings.