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Loggerhead Shrike

Scientific name: Lanius ludovicianus

A small but capable predator of insects, reptiles, and small birds, the Loggerhead Shrike lacks the powerful talons of raptors, but makes up for it by impaling prey on thorns or barbed wire to hold it for eating. Loggerhead Shrikes first kill birds and reptiles with a bite to the neck.

Loggerhead Shrikes are known to chase Brown-headed Cowbirds away from their nest, though there are a few records of nest parasitism. Young shrikes begin practicing the motions of impaling prey at just three weeks of age, though they don’t actually make a kill until about six weeks of age.