Time to look for Northern Shrikes

Immature Northern Shrike at Farmington Bay WMAImmature Northern Shrike at Farmington Bay WMA – Nikon D200, f8, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I write about the raptors I expect to see during the winter in Utah but there are also song birds I keep an eye out for too like this immature Northern Shrike.  Northern Shrikes like their cousins the Loggerhead Shrikes are often called Butcher Birds because they impale their prey to cache to eat at a later time. Both species of shrike sing but I am not sure I would call it a song. They aren’t raptors but they sure act like them at times.

Loggerhead Shrikes breed here in Utah while Northern Shrikes breed in the taiga and tundra of northern Canada and Alaska. Loggerhead Shrikes can be seen much of the year in Utah but during the harshest and coldest winters they do migrate south. There are times that both species of shrike can be seen in northern Utah but I have yet to see them both at the same time. I’d love to have an image with both species side by side.

I checked out eBird’s interactive map and see that Bill Fenimore has already spotted Northern Shrikes in Utah this season so I need to start keeping an eye out for them too!

Life is good.


PS: I am expecting to see snow falling soon!


  1. Utahbooklover November 16, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Great image Mia. This juvenile makes the vertical perch pose look so easy!

  2. Patty Chadwick November 14, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Beautiful image…crisp and clear, and as always, great composition…

  3. Stewart M November 13, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    What a great bird – and nice images as well.

    Feel free to link to Wild Bird Wednesday, which stays open until Saturday on my photo-blog.

    Cheers – Stewart M – Melbourne

  4. Elephant's Child November 13, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Perhaps they have ambitions to become raptors…
    And are stunning, just as they are. Thank you.

  5. Jolanta November 13, 2014 at 7:17 am

    Sweet little birdie!

  6. Stu November 13, 2014 at 7:13 am

    As always Mia . great photographs and also your narrative informs me of the many things I do not know about birds. Great post. Have yet to see a Shrike . Thanks

  7. Dave Sparks November 13, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Looking forward to the side-by-side photo of the two shrikes! I’ve never seen the Northern Shrike. There were lots of Loggerheads in SE Texas last week.

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