Shrike, Northern

Latin name: Lanius excubitorshrike

Length, wingspan: 10″, 14.5″

What they eat: Insects, small birds and rodents

Plants that attract: Prefers open areas for hunting over the winter months, especially if high perches are available for swooping down on their prey.

Where they nest: In trees and shrubs

shrikeMy observations: During the breeding season, Northern Shrikes live in the far north. We see them in our garden from late fall through the winter. You can identify the birds by their gray and black plumage and large beak. Mature adults have black bandit masks. They are efficient hunters of songbirds, mice and other types of rodents. While researching them, I learned they frequently will kill more than they can eat at one time, often impaling their prey on barbed-wire fences or the thorns of plants, to eat when they’re hungry again.

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