Loggerhead shrike Facts

Loggerhead shrike Facts
Loggerhead shrike is a songbird that belongs to the family of true shrikes. There are 10 subspecies of loggerhead shrikes that can be found in the North America. Loggerhead shrike inhabits open areas with thorny bushes, semi-deserts, savannas, pastures, agricultural fields, orchards and riparian habitats. Number of loggerhead shrikes in the wild is dropping due to habitat destruction, pollution of the ground and lack of food. Despite that, wild population of loggerhead shrikes is still large.
Interesting Loggerhead shrike Facts:
Loggerhead shrike can reach 7.9 to 9.1 inches in length and 1.2 to 1.8 ounces of weight.
Loggerhead shrike has grey head with black facial mask, white throat and belly and black wings covered with white markings. Females are brownish colored and have less prominent black markings on the face.
Name "loggerhead" refers to the large head of the bird compared to the rest of the body.
Loggerhead shrike is a carnivore (meat-eater). It hunts and eats insects, lizards, small mammals, birds, frogs and snakes.
Hooked bill of loggerhead shrike is equipped with a pair of sharp projections that inflict injuries to the spinal cord when bird strikes the nape of its prey.
Loggerhead shrike transports small prey in the bill and large prey using the feet.
Loggerhead shrike occasionally kills and eats poisonous butterflies and frogs. Poison in the body degrades after couple of days, and loggerhead shrike patiently waits for that to happen before it starts to eat the prey.
Loggerhead shrike is also known as a "butcher bird" because it attaches the prey on the sharp thorns or barbs before it starts to eat it. This unusual method facilitates eating, attracts females and ensures stashes of food for the later.
Songs of loggerhead shrike consist of various harsh calls and short trills.
Mating season of loggerhead shrike takes place from February to July.
Male sings and performs various acrobatics in the air to announce occupation of a certain territory and to attract females. Loggerhead shrike are monogamous birds. Females occasionally produce two broods per season with two different males.
Female builds the nest using the twigs, bark, root and forbs and lines it with moss, leaves, cloths and flowers. Cup-shaped nest is usually located in the thorny bush.
Female lays 5 to 6 eggs. Incubation period lasts 15 to 17 days. Both parents provide food for the hatchlings and participate in rearing of chicks. Young birds are ready to leave the nest at the age of 16 to 20 days.
Young loggerhead shrikes start to develop basic hunting skills early in the life. They often peck lifeless objects, fly with sticks and leaves in their beaks and maneuver in the air pretending to chase the prey.
Loggerhead shrikes can survive up to 11 years in the wild, but they usually live only 3 to 4 years.

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