The Salton Sea in Southern California is home, at various times of the year, to 424 species of birds.
The Loggerhead Shrike is a song bird who is a tough ten inches of feathered lethality!
Listen to his song repertoire by clicking on the link (be patient, it takes him a bit to warm up!)
Loggerhead shrikes sing beautifully, and kill quite effectively, resulting in a couple of common nicknames for them including, ‘the butcher bird’ or ‘the littlest bad ass.’
They kill prey like lizards by impaling them on thorns or barbwire fences. They are tough little birdies.
Despite their toughness, loggerhead shrike populations in California have declined 72% since 1967. They are designated a ‘California Species of Special Concern.’ Efforts by California’s Audubon Society are achieving some success in bringing California shrike population numbers back up. I was thrilled to see this very curious little guy who seemed almost as interested in me as I was in him!
Cheers to you from California’s oh so curious, and oh so beautiful, lethal-little-loggerhead shrike~
But he sounds so sweet and innocent……
Just like some politicians….. 😉
A long list.
Wow. Loved the bird calls and “littlest bad ass,” seems appropriate. Beautiful bird.
I think ‘littlest bad ass,” is my favorite bird name…. 😉
Beauty sometimes can be deceiving. 😉 But he really looks very sweet and sounds so innocent.
Yes. Words and looks can be quite deceiving can’t they! დ
Such sweet bird song. I wouldn’t mind having it mixed in with a bunch other bird songs to create a tune. 😁
What a creative idea. I would love to hear the mix! დ
Sadly I don’t have the skills but there’s an app on Apple’s App Store called ‘Relaxing Nature Quality Sounds’ that that has a ‘Birds’ option that sounds good. 🤓
I’ll check it out. Thanks for the tip დ
Beautiful tough guy.
You don’t have to be big to be tough! დ
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Cruel little hook there to his beak. Good for rippin’ n’ a tearin’. Who’d of thought there would be so many biological niches in an ecosystem like that.
The Salton Sea is quite surprising, so hostile and extreme, but it is a critical resting place for a huge variety of wild life დ
Great pictures, Cindy.
This post reminded me of James Thurber’s Fable “The Shrike and the Chipmunk” [https://is.gd/OnS4DP]. I like Thurber’s moral at the end:
“Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy and wealthy and dead”
Take care, and have a wonderful 2021,
Laughing….. How utterly perfect! This is yet another reason why I love to sleep in! 😉 😉
Beautiful little bird, Cindy 😀
Savage little beauties… დ
Those are beautiful portraits of this shrike, Cindy! I’ve never seen one in the wild. There is plenty of barbed wire around this area though!
This is the first one I have seen too. I hope they head over to your place. They are beautiful creatures დ
Looks innocent but is a ruthless bird of prey in a well-cut suit. Magnificent backlight images!
Just like a Wall Street lawyer….. 😉 Loved your descriptor! დ
I see that he has a beak meant for tearing flesh. I wouldn’t want to be a lizard around him! Thanks for the nice closeups so we could get to know this bird!
You are most welcome As he looked at me he did seem to be thinking, “If only she was much smaller….” 😉
Wow.. So pretty images 🌻♥️
Grazie mille! დ
Glorious photos, Cindy! Wishing you all the very best for 2021. 🙂 🙂
Visa versa 2UX2 Jo დ
It’s hard to believe they’re such roughie-toughies, isn’t it? They look so charming and decorative.
And they sing so sweetly…. Looks, and songs, can be deceiving! 😉
They do have a tough look about them Cindy. Hope your Christmas a happy one.
Thanks much Leslie. Happy & Healthy New Year my friend დ
And she’s back! 🙂
Laughing….. She’s quite the lethal beauty isn’t she! დ
Without a doubt!
Thank you for treating us once again!
Cindy it is so beautiful, thanks for share your art.
I hope you had a wonderfull Christmas time, and i wih you a happy new year with all blessings.
Take care my friend.
I am touched by your thoughtfulness Elvira. Thank you sincerely. Wishing you a healthy and happy new year! დდ
Thank you very much Cindy, sincerely, for your kindness.
The best for the new year too, a lot of heath for everybody.
Receive a hug.
Cindy I send you a hug.
They have loud squeaky sound. they’re so pretty. 🙂
They are beautiful creatures. Happy New Year to you and your family my friend დ
Great captures, Cindy. I hear of some folks offering them hamburg or meat scraps. That could get smelly I imagine!
Interesting. There are a lot of big male predator tracks at The Salton Sea. I can’t see me walking around with raw meat in my pockets!!! 😉 😉
‘Set that bag down, lady, nice and easy and no one gets hurt.’ 😀
Tee Hee Hee…..I can definitely hear, and see, a hawks doing this!
I would do exactly as I was told!! 🙂
😀 Me, too!
Beautiful sighting beautifully captured! ❤️
Grazie mille Donna დ
Thank you დ
They remind me of a Bluejay- except way meaner! lol
Yes! He actually was a light blue color which the camera didn’t pick up დ
Did I click on the wrong video? The Play button played footage of a bird making a sound that didn’t really sound like a song, but more like a birdie hiccup.
Yes. He has a variety of calls and clicks in addition to songs. Check out the Arizona recording to hear some song. დ
Maybe he was sizing you up for steaks. 😉
I am familiar with them from southern Alberta. Years ago, people used to target them and tried to eliminate them (they were seen as “evil”). They are slowly starting to come back but are still designated as threatened.
Lovely photos; thanks, Cindy. 🙂
He did look at me in a most hungry fashion 😉 Ironic isn’t it, humans trying to kill off an entire species because they kill bugs and lizards…. დ
You have captured an extraordinary moment, Cindy! Truly remarkable.
Hugs to you Rebecca! Health & Happiness to you in 2021 my friend. I look forward to sharing the New Year with you დდ
Hello Shriker! The Salton Sea area is so fascinating.
Oops, shrike! My typo
Holy Shriker Batman, it’s a shrike!! I think you invented a new word which I now plan to use whenever the opportunity arises. 😉 😉
What cute birdies! I’ve never seen one before, and its markings kind of remind me of a badger. No wonder they’re so fierce!
He’s a birdie badger!! He has that look in his eye… 😉
What an elegant beauty! My husband is fascinated with them and the running joke in our family is whenever we see a bird that we couldn’t catch a good enough look at to ID, we’d say, “Oh, it was a shrike for sure, and you missed it!” My family is very silly. 😂 I will show him this post and make him envious!
“Shrike Teresa! You missed the shrike!!” 😉 😉 Your husband sounds awesome დ
Elegance and beauty, Cindy!
Ahhh, thank you Leya. I think they are wonderful too დ
How beautiful! Love its song.
Seems like almost every day is a special day for some animal that needs our help.
It seems a bugger, but the reason they need our help is our fault!
Have you seen each of the 424 species? ❦
A blogger told me that shrikes were killed off enmasse where she lived because people didn’t like them killing things. Human logic…. I definitely have not seen all 424 species, but I am working on it. There are some very exotic visitors from far flung places that show up there randomly that are included in the count. I’ve seen a few of these, but there is much more to be seen. On our last visit my husband asked, “What are those?” pointing to a large group of floating ducks.
I told him, “Common ducks.”
When I got home and looked at my photos, I saw several rare and endangered ducks in the group that I hadn’t even noticed. This happens fairly frequently.
Well, Cindy, this sounds like a fab project while it’s too, dangerous to travel due to Covid.
Keep taking pics, and documenting these birds. You may see all 424 this year!
Will you be posting the ducks. I adore ducks. I’d love to pet some!
I’m just working on a NY post with my ceramic ducks! ❦
I need to go back and focus on the ducks. I do have snow geese that look much like ducks that I will post next. I am looking forward to seeing your ceramic ducks. Happy & Healthy New Year Resa. Hope we have another fun year together დ
Wishing you all good things Cindy sending joy and peace to you and your loved ones 🤍🕊💫 hugs hedy
Visa versa 2UX2 Hedy. Peace, Health and Happiness in the New Year! დ
Good, good, good and good
Smiling…thank you x 4! 🙂
When the title of your post first came across my email, I was expecting an epic poem of the Song of Roland type, with soldiers being bisected with swords and such. I got the littlest badass instead! I’d never heard of the Loggerhead Shrike; it was quite interesting to learn about them.
A little badass is a good thing! 😉
So beautiful and strong. Nature is fascinating and your insights are so welcome. Thank you for bringing attention to something not found on the Disney Channel.
Our world needs more reality than Disney. Thank you for bringing it Cindy 💕
You are most welcome Val. Wishing you and your a Happy & Healthy New Year დ
Wishing you all the best for a new year filled with hope, health … and yes, travel 💕🙏💕
The lighting is wonderful, and these portraits (yes, portraits) capture the shrike’s bad ass personality.
I love your comment, made me smile. Thank you & cheers დ
I’ve got to say….I’m a little intimidated.
If you were littler than he, you really would be!! He was a confident carnivore დ
I have to say I appreciate his confidence. 🙂
So do I!! Happy & Healthy New Year 2021! 👪🌃🥂🎇
Happy New Year Cindy!!! 🎉🎊
I’m Vlad you posted this two-note BA. 😱😂
Better than a one note BA anyday….. 😉 😉
I always learn something new when I read your posts, Cindy, and I always love the images you give us – truly magical.
I look forward to spending a better 2021 with you and your feathered friends!
Thank you Sheila and amen to that! May we enjoy 2021 together in health and peace. დ
Thank you Alison. I hope we are both back to vagabonding sometime in 2021 my friend. Looking forward to wherever we both are going next დ
That is one feisty bird. I’m so glad you spotted one and got pictures. Your photos never disappoint, Cindy.
Wishing you a Happy New Year…I just know it’s got to be better than 2020. xo
He is a feisty little predator isn’t he! Thank you for your kind thoughts & I look forward to sharing 2021 with you my friend. Health & Happiness to you დ
Thank you, Cindy. Health & Happiness to you, too.
That is a interesting species! I’ve heard of a bird that impales it’s prey but didn’t realize it was this one. Great shots Cindy and explanation!
I read a story about you on CNN???? Your floating island is nothing short of amazing. I wish they showcased your photography, but loved seeing your woodcarving. What a slice of pandemic-panic-free-paradise you have created for yourself. Kudos to you my friend and thank you. Looking forward to spending another year with you, Happy, Healthy 2021 დ
Sorry Cindy,thats my friend Wayne. He and Katherine live in Freedom cove. He has assembled his flotilla over many years!
I wish I was half as talented as him!
It appears he’s becoming famous. I hope not too much as being famous is the kiss of death!
I think you are as talented as he. Your photos are world class stunners. Let’s get CNN over to your place next…..
That is very sweet of you to say but remember what I said……….fame is a curse. Balance is the only way.
Happy & Healthy New Year 2021! 👪🌃🥂🎇
thank you Cindy! Good health to you both!
Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
Pictures of the California Loggerhead Shrike from Cindy Knoke. He’s a pretty but tough little bird.
You are such a lovely friend Patricia. All the best of everything in 2021 to you my friend დ
The first snap is breathtaking.❤ So serene !
Thanks much & so pleased you liked it დ
Good pictures of “feathered lethality”, which I like
He is literally a tough litter bugger….. 😉
Beautiful pictures of the little tough guy, Cindy! Wishing you a Happy New Year!
Thank you Eugenia & Happy and Healthy New Year to you my friend დ
Ahh…I see a bLoggerhead trying to shrike a balance. Lol! (∞ ❛ั ⊝❛ั )
And he looks hungry…… Watch out lizards 😉 🙂
Happy & Healthy New Year 2021! 👪🌃🥂🎇
And to you and yours, my dear friend!
First, I am so dazzled by the lighting the images and their crisp clarity. Your images are always a visual happy meal for me. Then I am delighted again with recording and information… just terrific!
Awwww, your comment truly delighted me! Friends like you are why I love blogging. Thank you my friend & cheers to you. დ
So very welcome and cheers to you!
Thanks for another fun lesson professor Cindy! That’s a badass little bird! I hope this year brings more love, peace, and healing into our world.
Amen Brad. I hope so too. And there will be a quiz on Monday……. დ
ha, ha. I’d fail. I enjoy but don’t take notes!
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I think from seeing few pictures here I can think I know how they came up with the name. I like the sound 🙂
It is quite a colorful name for a very colorful bird! Happy & Healthy New Year my friend. I look forward to sharing 2021 with you დდ
That photo of him giving you the evil eye says it all, “Don’t mess with me.” Great photos, Cindy!
Yes!! I see this too! Happy & Healthy New Year Jennie დ
Haha! Happy New Year to you, Cindy. Stay well.
Happy & Healthy New Year 2021! 👪🌃🥂🎇
Gouregeous pictures!!! Really, they are stunning.
Wish you Happy Holidays and a great 2021 🙂
Awwww, honored! Thank you so much and Happy & Healthy New Year to you დ
Grazie mille დ
Ein ähnlicher Kerl, der seine Beute auf Dornensträuchern aufspiesst, ist bei uns der Neuntöter. Alles Liebe und Gute meine Freundin für 2021. Bleib munter und gesund. Ernst
Ich wünsche Ihnen Gesundheit und Glück im neuen Jahr, mein Freund, und freue mich darauf, ein weiteres Jahr mit Ihnen zu teilen! დდ
The minute I heard it singing, a smile popped onto my face. What a gorgeous little predator…stunning mask. I’d love to see one,but I’m in the wrong part of the country. I hope the California Audubon Society will have great success, it would be such a shame to lose these birds.
Aren’t they wonderful! This little guy looked at me with such intelligent curiosity. დ
” I was thrilled to see this very curious little guy who seemed almost as interested in me as I was in him!” Maybe he was contemplating what you might taste like, Cindy. 🙂
Happy New Year. –Curt
I think he was fantasizing about shrinking me down to a main course portion…..
Fantastic photos! It reminds me of a ninja!
That is such a good name for him! Ninja the Impaler has quite a nice ring to it 😉 😉
“They kill prey like lizards by impaling them on thorns or barbwire fences. They are tough little birdies.”
Shrike indeed sounds fierce! So sorry to hear their numbers are declining.
Yes, thank you. We humans need to do better!
Sooo beautiful, just amazing! Thank you so much and many blessings for you and your family! ❤️
Back 2UX2! დდ
Beautyfull! You made me more happy 🙂
Happy I did!! დდ
Though beautiful, at first glance he doesn’t look that impressive. THEN you see his attitude! Such presence. 😀 I love this, Cindy. Hugs on the wing!
Hugs back to you Teagan. He does have that rather kingly haughtiness doesn’t he! Healthy & Happy New Year to you Teagan! 👪🌃🥂🎇🕛
Thank you for sharing these little rascals. I think they are beautiful.
I’m planning on visiting a place known to be the home of the Eagle-owl before going back to work after the holidays. Birds are interesting animals. Happy New Year Cindy!
Eagle owls are incredible birds. I have seen them once. I hope you post photos. Happy & Healthy New Year! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
It looks very similar to the Lesser Grey Shrike in South Africa.
They are probably closely related. Happy & Healthy New Year to you Anne! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
Thank you, Cindy. It has started off well and I hope yours has too 🙂
Amazing pictures.. loved them;💕
So pleased you did & thank you Ishita. Happy & Healthy New Year! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
Beautiful, truly. Lots of love and best wishes. ❤
Happy & Healthy New Year to you! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
What lovely little power houses they are! I am not aware of the exact number of the birds in my area. I know we used to have more pheasants and Bob Whites (another type of pheasant). But there was an avian flu that killed off quite a bit of them. And just the other year I had wild turkeys in my yard! I hadn’t notice them before.
Best of the New Year to you and yours! (((Hugs))) From SE, PA 💖
It is a joy to have wild bird neighbors. Wishing you a Happy & Healthy New Year Jules! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
Happy Mew Year wishes Cindy
Visa versa 2UX2! Happy & Healthy New Year! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
Thank you & Happy & Healthy New Year! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
Thanks and you too have a great year! 🙏
The mask over his eyes completes the picture of one tough birdie! glad their numbers are improving some!
Thank you Kathy. Wishing you and yours a Happy & Healthy New Year! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
Happy New Year, Cindy. Best wishes for 2021.❤️♥️
Happy & Healthy New Year to you and thank you! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
Cindy, wishing you an amazing 2021! Blessings! ♥♥
Happy & Healthy New Year to you and yours! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
Beautiful shots, Cindy. It looks so innocent, ‘as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth’, as my gran used to say. 🙂
Yes! Longs, and song, can be deceiving! Happy & Healthy New Year my friend! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
I wish you a Happy New Year, my admired Cindy! 🙂
Happy & Healthy New Year to you! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
happy new year 2021 !
Happy & Healthy New Year to you! 🤩🌃🎆✨🍾
ich wünsche ein besseres gesundes Jahr 2021 und mögen alle deine Wünsche in Erfüllung gehen.
In diesem Sinne ein schönes Wochenende für dich, Klaus von der Müritz
Was für ein schöner Neujahrsgruß mein Freund. Vielen Dank. Frohes und gesundes neues Jahr für Sie. Ich freue mich darauf, ein weiteres Jahr mit Ihnen zu teilen. 👪🌃🥂🎇
These are amazing photos! Do you make a calender with some of them every year?
I would love to do a bird calendar. I think I have enough clicks for a bunch of years! Happy & Healthy New Year Mark 👪🌃🥂🎇
Your photos would make a great calendar. I know someone who takes the same calibre of photos that you do, and he produces and sells calendars every year. 🙂
Thanks for the tip and the encouragement დ
Cindy, you are the real ornithologist!
However, for me the best bird singer is nightingale.
I am a psychotherapist by training. Birdies are my hobby. The nightingale’s song is worthy of it’s fame. Shakespeare didn’t miss a thing! დ
I know you are the psychotherapist by education. But as a bird hobbiest you are advanced!
Smiling…. You are a wonderful friend Alexander დდ
Perfect shots. Nice eye you have.
Much appreciated. Thank you დ
Cindy, your pictures make my heart smile. You are gifted.
Your very kind comment makes my <3 smile Selina. Thank you! დ
Such a pretty bird… 🙂
Yes, a delicate beauty დ
Oh a badass he is 😉 I have seen the grasshoppers skewered on thorns 🙂
Smiling…they store them on the thorns to marinate! 😉
What beautiful birds. Happy and safe New Year to you Cindy 🙂
Happy & Safe New Year Charlotte. I look forward to sharing another year with you my friend დ
That’s quite the bird!
He’s got avian-attitude!