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Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)

Class: Aves
Family: Laniidae
Common Name: Loggerhead Shrike
Genus: Lanius
Species Name: ludovicianus

About The Loggerhead Shrike

A medium-sized (9 inches) shrike, the Loggerhead Shrike is most easily identified by its gray body, dark wings, and large hooked bill. Other field marks include a black tail with white edges, a black eye-stripe, and white “wrists” visible on the underside of the wings. This species may be separated from the Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor) by the latter species’ faintly barred breast and from the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by that species’ large white wing patches. Male and female Loggerhead Shrikes are similar to one another in all seasons. The Loggerhead Shrike breeds across the southern and southwestern United States as well as the Great Plains and locally in the Great Lakes region. Breeding populations also exist at higher elevations in northern and central Mexico. Northern Loggerhead Shrike populations are migratory, moving south in winter as far as Mexico. Loggerhead Shrikes inhabit a variety of open habitats, including grasslands, agricultural fields, and deserts. This species utilizes similar habitats in winter as in summer, especially those populations which are non-migratory. Loggerhead Shrikes eat a variety of small animals, including insects, small mammals, and birds. Loggerhead Shrikes are most easily observed perching in prominent areas, such as on bare branches, while watching for prey. This species impales its prey on thorns or barbed wire, and birdwatchers who stumble across one of these “larders” would likely find a Loggerhead Shrike nearby. This species is primarily active during the day.

Rights Holder: Unknown
Bibliographic Citation: Rumelt, Reid B. Lanius ludovicianus. June-July 2012. Brief natural history summary of Lanius ludovicianus. Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C.

Trips Where Observed

Mexico, Baja California Sur
Southeast Arizona

Member Lifelists

North America
United States

Sites Where Observed



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