The page cannot be found

Possible causes:

  • Baptist explanation: There must be sin in your life. Everyone else opened it fine.
  • Presbyterian explanation: It's not God's will for you to open this link.
  • Word of Faith explanation: You lack the faith to open this link. Your negative words have prevented you from realizing this link's fulfillment.
  • Charismatic explanation: Thou art loosed! Be commanded to OPEN!
  • Unitarian explanation: All links are equal, so if this link doesn't work for you, feel free to experiment with other links that might bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Buddhist explanation: .........................
  • Episcopalian explanation: Are you saying you have something against homosexuals?
  • Christian Science explanation: There really is no link.
  • Atheist explanation: The only reason you think this link exists is because you needed to invent it.
  • Church counselor's explanation: And what did you feel when the link would not open?

Why the Loggerhead Shrike is Also Known as The Butcher Bird

Monday 31 December 2018

Some animals have a reputation that they did nothing to warrant.  Not so the Loggerhead Shrike.  It has an alternative name which it richly deserves.  It is called the butcher bird and anywhere it is common in North America its prey are left out to dry in the same way that a butcher might hang his meat.

Image Credit andymorffew
Image Credit Hunter Desportes
If you can’t see a loggerhead shrike then you will know if one is about if you check and barbed wire or sharp, pointed vegetation.  If you see the impaled remains of insects like the grasshopper then although you might suspect it to due to the exertions of some willful boy it is much more likely to be the handiwork of the butcher bird.

Image Credit jcantrell
Image Credit gurdonark
It does not stop with insects either.  They are also known to take lizards, mice and even other, smaller bird and attach them to the nearest spiky object to their nest.  It is probably one of the few animals to take real advantage of the widespread use of barbed wire.  The birds are so keen on these sharp hooked lines of cable that they should have acquired another nickname – the barbed-wire bird.

You may not quite believe what you have just read.  So, take a look at the amateur footage above which shows the butcher bird in action - with a snake!

Image Credit Matt Knoth
Image Credit bittacular
Its modus operandi for hunting is quite straightforward but hugely successful.  The bird patiently sits on a perch with as open lines of sight as possible.  Then when it sees something edible it plunges down to capture its quarry.

Image Credit Joshua Tree National Park
Even a tarantula doesn’t stand much of a chance against a butcher bird on a mission. It doesn't matter that there is no barbed wire around - after all the bird was living in North America long before people.  A Mojave yucca spike will do nicely. Incidentally, the original name, the loggerhead, was given because the bird has a relatively large head compared to the rest of its body.

Here is another video which explains a little more about the behavior of the butcher bird.

Image Credit ilouque
Why exactly does the loggerhead shrike go to so much trouble with its food? Why can’t it simply gulp down its prey like others?  In fact, it is the male loggerhead which exhibits this behavior and he is looking for a mate.  By spiking his assorted victims like an avian Vlad the Impaler he is hoping to attract a female with which to start a family.  The butcher bird has even been known to decorate his prey with feathers in order to impress any potential mate who might fly by.

Image Credit Henry McLinn
It’s one way to ensure the continuation of the species…

First image credit maggie.smith

Give a Gift

If you enjoyed this article, please consider making a gift to help Ark In Space to continue to bring you fascinating features, photographs and videos.
Thank you!

Allow the use of cookies in this browser?

Kuriositas uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and to analyse traffic. Learn more about cookies and how they are used.
Allow cookies Cookies settings