Apr 22, 2010

Exciting Discoveries - Loggerhead Shrike

First things first, I apologize to any new visitors that have already heard about this. I haven't had a chance to share with my regular blog readers the exciting discovery. Then we will be back to less exciting but no less magical news.

As some of you may know from reading my blog or otherwise, I am a hobby birder. I have been birdwatching at my feeders for more than 10 years now. The last few years I have been going out and more actively birding but I am still quite an amateur when it comes to field IDs.

Last Saturday, I was out and about when I noticed a bird that I hadn't seen before. This in itself is not a surprise. The first time I noticed a Horned Grebe was a few weeks back but I am sure I have gone by them before. Being the photo enthusiast that I am, I went back on Sunday to take photos. The little bugger posed perfectly for me. I was tickled that I had such a great photo opportunity but when I got home I couldn't find an ID for him. Since I couldn't ID the photo, I posted it on my Fotki account with a number of other birds I wanted identified and sent the link off to my local birding club.

After dozens of emails back and forth with several members, we have identified my mystery bird as a Loggerhead Shrike. This bird is a casual visitor in Michigan and rare to my specific locality other than occasional sightings during migration. This has been very exciting for many birding enthusiasts in the area. Hopefully, our shrike sticks around to breed.

A little tidbit that was shared with me by a fellow birder, Jon W. He said that this bird is also known as "Butcherbird due to the fact that it will impale its prey on thorns, barbed wire etc." Gross but interestingly clever none the less.

Here are some photos for you all to enjoy.

Many thanks to Jon, Matt, Tim and Scott for helping to ID my bird and educating me on this fantastic bird!



Qtswede said...

That's what they are. Hmmm. Those little buggers show up here every year. Thanks for the ID! I'll see if I can get some pics of the Ruffed Grouse that hang out here, and the pheasants .... most of the other birds are pretty normal - meadow larks, bluebirds..... very nice shot though!!

Jessica said...

More than likely you are seeing one of the other shrikes. This one seems to have stirred up quite a bit of attention. The Northern Shrike is more common to the area as are a couple others. You can see more here: http://michiganaudubon.org/education/identification_help.html?identification_help_item=39198&db_item=listitem.

Linda in New Mexico said...

I love the other commenters phrase, pretty normal - meadow larks, bluebirds....yeah for yous guys up north and east but for us desert dwellers....not so much. It's all in the perspective and local.
Your photos are super as always but the info...impale??? Wow, and here I thought the common roadrunner was a bad one bashing the lizards to death on the ground...ick.
I guess that's you say tomato I say tomatoe kinda thing huh?
((((hugs)))) until next time

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your find! I am not a birder but do spend some time at the Arizona Audubon and their fabulous new center.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the siting, Jessica! Isn't that fun? I love when a new bird (never seen or noticed before) appears.

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site themagicalmundane.blogspot.com
Is this possible?

Jessica said...

You can post your link here in the comments and I will review it. You may also leave an email address so I can contact you.