Monday, January 4, 2016

Loggerhead Shrike at Lake Hodges

Shrikes are interesting songbirds. With their sharply curved beak they hunt larger insects and even prey half their body size such as small rodents, lizards, and birds. They often cache their food, impaling future meals on thorns for later consumption.

Loggerhead Shrike
Loggerhead Shrike. Lake Hodges, California. November 26, 2015. Greg Gillson.
While always found in low numbers, they are doing well in the desert lands east of the mountains. However, birds have been declining rapidly on the coastal slope since the 1990's. This is probably not surprising as these birds "retreat from urbanization" (San Diego County Bird Atlas, 2004).