Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike
Lanius ludovicianus
Copyright 2013 Linda Kervin

Northern Shrike Courtesy US FWS, Dave Menke, Photographer Northern Shrike
Lanius borealis
Courtesy US FWS, Dave Menke, Photographer

The name songbird conjures up an image of a colorful singing warbler. But one family of songbirds, the shrikes, are fierce little predators. No bigger than a robin, shrikes mainly eat insects, especially grasshoppers and crickets, but they also prey on rodents, small birds, lizards, snakes and frogs.

Utah has 2 species of Shrike: the Loggerhead which resides here year round and the Northern which breeds in tundra and visits Utah in the winter. Shrikes prefer semi-open country that has some trees, shrubs or fenceposts where they perch to watch for prey and then swoop to kill with their thick hooked bill.

Shrikes are sometimes called butcher birds Continue reading “Shrikes”