Shrike the Impaler~

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~

216 thoughts on “Shrike the Impaler~

  1. Pingback: Shrike the Impaler~ β€” -

  2. Great pictures, Cindy.
    This post reminded me of James Thurber’s Fable “The Shrike and the Chipmunk” []. 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,

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Maybe he was sizing you up for steaks. πŸ˜‰

    I am familiar with them from southern Alberta. Years ago, people used to target them and tried to eliminate them (they were seen as β€œevil”). They are slowly starting to come back but are still designated as threatened.
    Lovely photos; thanks, Cindy. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 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. πŸ˜‚ I will show him this post and make him envious!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 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? ❦

    Liked by 3 people

    • 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.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. 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.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 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 πŸ’•

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pingback: Shrike the Impaler~ β€”

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