A rarity when found in Ohio, Loggerhead Shrikes are rather plentiful in the south. It seems they adorn the tops of the landscaping in every outlet mall in Texas, and this uber-compliant fellow was photographed on Merritt Island, Florida.
Shrikes, come in two different yet similarly-looking "flavors" in the U.S., Ohio's occasional Northern Shrikes are northern species, generally found wintering in Killdeer Plains or Deer Creek. Both of those wildlife areas are managed by the Division of Wildlife, and let's take note how many birds and animals gain a side benefit from these wildlife areas, although they are managed for other species.
The "Butcher Bird" is a fearless avian predator, the dispatcher of many a mouse and lesser bird. And while it is not unusual for a bird to be carnivorous, it is rather remarkable the relish which they employ death. Shrikes severe their victim's spinal cord and hang their prey on a convenient thorn or barb for its dismemberment. Males are believe to use a well stocked larder to impress the ladies. Men should remember: it is all about the ladies!
So whether is it a Loggerhead or Northern Shrike, we Ohioans are going to get excited about these dramatic birds, and relish our every encounter. We spent a good deal of time appreciating the good looks of this handsome bird, and was thrilled for an opportunity to get some of the best bird photos I have ever been able to shoot. I really enjoyed this special bird, and hope you did too.