Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike

The Northern Shrike is a carnivorous passerine, sometimes mistaken for a hawk because of its habit of killing small animals and impaling them on a thorn to eat later. I took this photo of the Northern Shrike last winter as he perched outside my window; he is doing what shrikes do—sitting quietly waiting. He’s sometimes called the “butcher bird” for this habit of impaling victims on thorns. Shrikes are about the size of a robin and coloration is similar to the mockingbird. Vermont is south of its usual tundra—taiga breeding range but it is not uncommon for shrikes to winter here.

Micki Colbeck©

northern shrike

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