Connecting you with nature
This Loggerhead Shrike, photographed in Florida, captured a small lizard. Loggerhead shrikes average 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters) with a wingspan of about 13 inches (33 centimeters). Loggerhead shrikes have a unique habit of impaling small vertebrates, like lizards, on thorns or other sharp objects to kill or immobilize them. This behavior has earned them the nickname “butcherbirds.” Photographer Rachel Kolokoff Hopper has a series of photos called “Death on the Plains”, showing a variety of impaled insects and reptiles from an area in Colorado where she’s been photographing Loggerhead Shrike behavior. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated the loggerhead shrike as a Migratory Nongame Bird of Management Concern in the United States in 1987 due to range-wide declines in populations. Between 1966 and 2015, the species declined by almost 3% per year, resulting in a cumulative decline of 76%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Habitat destruction and pesticide use are some of the causes believed behind their declining numbers. The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (affiliated with the National Zoo in Washington, DC) has Loggerhead Shrikes in its care. In human care, Loggerhead Shrikes are fed crickets and mealworms and they’re provided with thorns and barbed wire to skewer their prey!
Read more about this blog here: https://www.copperrangellc.com/blog/2020/12/eating-like-a-bird .
National Zoo : https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/loggerhead-shrike
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources: https://dwr.virginia.gov/blog/whats-going-on-with-the-butcher-bird/
Loggerhead Shrike Working Group: https://loggerheadshrike.org/
Photographer Rachel Kolokoff Hopper: https://www.rkhphotography.net/Life-Death-on-the-Plains/
The Spruce, Feeding Birds: https://www.thespruce.com/attract-birds-with-food-386394