Loggerhead Shrike – Reflections of the Pure World

By Jim Acquire

Be taught 100 Widespread Valley Birds is a photograph weblog sequence highlighting the 100 commonest Valley chook species.

Submit #6 within the Be taught 100 Widespread Valley Birds sequence. (Species 10/100.)

The Loggerhead Shrike is a Pretty Widespread Resident to California’s Central Valley and could be present in grasslands, freshwater wetlands and chaparral habitats. There are 2 species of Shrike usually discovered within the US, the Loggerhead Shrike and the Northern Shrike. Nevertheless, the Northern Shrike is a really uncommon vagrant to the Central Valley.

Loggerhead Shrike

Valley Species of Particular Concern Collection

A Species of Particular Concern (SSC) is a species, subspecies, or distinct inhabitants of an animal native to the Central Valley that presently is listed as a Federal Endangered, California Endangered or California Species of Particular Concern.


Loggerhead Shrikes are presently thought-about a Chook Species of Particular Concern (breeding), precedence 2. Over their historic vary, numbers are barely declining general with a dramatic drop in breeding populations within the southern a part of the state. This species was described as widespread to considerable within the San Joaquin Valley in 1927 by Grinnell and Wythe, however latest Christmas Chook Rely (CBC) outcomes present an accelerated statewide decline from 1959 to 1988. (See California Chook Species of Particular Concern Report)

Loggerhead Shrike | Photograph by Jim Acquire


The Loggerhead Shrike is certainly one of two shrikes usually discovered within the US, however is essentially the most anticipated shrike within the Central Valley. Its shut cousin, the Northern Shrike is a really uncommon winter customer right here with just one report in Stanislaus County. Roughly the dimensions of a starling, this grey and white perching chook can incessantly be seen alongside roads hanging on to a barbed-wire fence. Its massive head with daring black masks distinguish the Loggerhead Shrike from the same coloured Northern Mockingbird.

Loggerhead Shrike | Photograph by Jim Acquire


When disturbed, the Loggerhead Shrike will drop down and fly low alongside the bottom earlier than swooping as much as acquire one other perch on the identical fence line. The Loggerhead Shrike is sort of the daring predator, typically taking over massive prey after which impaling it on a barbed-wire or thorn. It has been given the nickname of “butcher chook” on account of this curious, but ugly conduct.

Loggerhead Shrike | Photograph by Jim Acquire


Extra widespread within the winter than in the summertime, Loggerhead Shrikes could be present in open areas resembling grasslands and wetlands. They are often incessantly seen alongside the grasslands alongside the japanese valley roads (Merced Falls Rd., Willms Rd., Sonora Rd.) or within the grasslands and wetlands areas (Santa Fe Grade, Sandy Mush Rd.) in Merced County. Try the eBird Loggerhead Shrike species map.

Simliar Species

Although very uncommon within the Central Valley, the Northern Shrike may be very related in look to the Loggerhead Shrike. Northern Shrikes are larger than Loggerheads. Northern Shrikes have a bigger, extra strongly hooked invoice. Different dependable marks embrace the Northern’s narrower black masks that often doesn’t proceed in entrance of their eye (or proceed above the invoice), and the Northern’s extra strongly barred underparts. Each these subject marks could be troublesome to see within the subject.

Try the comparability between the 2 species under.

Loggerhead Shrike (left) Photograph by Jim Acquire | Northern Shrike (proper) Photograph by CheepShot

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