Loggerhead Shrike with Armored Stink Beetle prey – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Three days ago while photographing birds in northern Utah I was able to take images of two individual Loggerhead Shrikes with prey. The first Loggerhead Shrike dove to the ground from its perch and captured an Armored Stink Beetle and then flew up to a post to eat it.
My first experience with an Armored Stink Beetle was not a pleasant one because I learned how badly they can stink and not only that but how long a room can smell horrible when a stink beetle has been crushed. It is an awful smell.
The shrike didn’t seem to care, it just wanted to eat.
Loggerhead Shrike holding a Western Yellow Jacket – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Further down the road I spotted another Loggerhead Shrike and was photographing it when it also dove down to the ground and after a few seconds flew back to the same perch with a Western Yellow Jacket in its bill. The shrike seemed to take its time consuming the yellow jacket, I don’t know if that was because the bird knew the yellow jacket could sting it and wanted to crush the yellow jacket before it swallowed it whole or why it took longer to eat it than the other shrike took to eat the beetle but I did find it interesting.
Loggerhead Shrike with Western Yellow Jacket prey – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I looked through the images I took carefully and never saw the stinger of the yellow jacket in the photos that I took of it.
I was happy to photograph these two birds with their prey because I haven’t seen or photographed many Loggerhead Shrikes this year as I have in years past.
Life is good.