Loggerhead Shrike: Medium shrike with gray upperparts and paler gray underparts. Mask is black and throat is white. Bill is heavy and slightly hooked. Wings are black with white patches. Tail is long, black, and white-edged. Low, swift flight, alternates rapid wing beats with wings pulled to sides.
Range and Habitat
Loggerhead Shrike: Breeds from southern British Columbia, central Alberta, central Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, southern Ontario, and southern Quebec, south throughout the U.S. Spends winters in the southern half of its breeding range. Preferred habitats include grasslands, orchards, and open areas with scattered trees.
The Loggerhead Shrike is most well known for its innovative use of barbed-wire and chain-link fences to impale its prey to cache for later. It is also called butcherbird or French Mockingbird.
Decline in population over the past years is not well understood, but may be due to decreased winter survivability and vehicle collisions, particularly involving juvenile birds. They are listed endangered in Maryland and Virginia and a species of special concern (SSC) in West Virginia.
They are only still relatively common in Florida.
The San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike subspecies has been listed as endangered since 1977, with population numbers reaching as low as 14 individuals. Currently there are captive breeding and release programs in use to help increase their numbers.
A group of shrikes are collectively known as an "abattoir" and a "watch" of shrikes.
The Loggerhead Shrike has a large range, estimated globally at 8,900,000 square kilometers. Native to North America and introduced to the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands, this bird prefers savanna, shrubland, and grassland ecosystems and can also reside on arable land, pastureland, and rural gardens.. The global population of this bird is estimated at 4,200,000 individuals and does not show signs of significant decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Loggerhead Shrike is Least Concern.