Loggerhead — OOOPS — Northern Shrike

Author’s Note — after writing this post last night, I realized that I got the two browser windows confused, and wrongly identified the bird we saw as a Loggerhead, when it was actually a Northern Shrike. I have struck out the wrong name where appropriate. My next post compares the two birds. (https://amylawscigeek.com/2022/01/27/my-bad-its-a-northern-shrike-after-all/)

Like so many other people, my husband has been working from home during the Covid Pandemic. He has his computer set up looking out over some of our many feeders. For the last week or so, he has been telling me that he has been seeing a Loggerhead Northern Shrike.

We were introduced to the idea of Shrikes being in our neighborhood when we went to drop off our Christmas tree at the city greenhouses, where it will be turned into mulch. As we were dragging the tree off the roof of my car, a couple of birders walked by, pointing and taking pictures of a bird high in the surrounding suburban trees. When I asked what it was, the woman said a Northern Shrike, and she showed us a picture she had just taken. It showed a smallish grey bird with a raptor’s obvious hooked beak.

I had heard about shrikes before, but never thought to look for them because I didn’t know we had them in Colorado. A quick look at Cornell University’s Birds of the World website says that Northern Shrikes winter in Colorado, while closely related Loggerhead Northern Shrikes are year-round residents.

Both Loggerhead Shrikes and Northern Shrikes have eye bands, but Loggerhead Northern Shrike bands never go above their eyes. Loggerheads also have a pale bill at the base.

For now, though, my husband and I are just happy to have welcomed a new friend to the neighborhood.

Published by Amy Law

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...

2 thoughts on “Loggerhead — OOOPS — Northern Shrike

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: