Saturday, June 20, 2009

Little Shrikes on the Prairie

A few weeks ago, I headed out to the Katy Prairie to see what birds might be lingering after the rush of migrations had passed through. There were no big surprises to be found: Grackles, Mockingbirds, fields of Cattle Egrets, a couple of hawks, one lone Crested Caracara. But by far the biggest treasures of the day were a pair of fledgling Loggerhead Shrikes I spotted by the roadside.

Loggerhead Shrike - 5/9/2009

The first one I found was staying as still as could be in the tangle of twigs and vines that lined the edge of Longenbaugh Road. The parents were nowhere in sight, and this little shrike was not taking any chances — the only part of him I saw move as I rolled by was his little head, swiveling slowly to make sure this big creature was not coming any closer.

Farther on down the road, I spotted an adult shrike perched on the telephone lines overhead. He/she was keeping a careful eye on something in the bushes below, so I paused a short distance away to watch.

Loggerhead Shrike - 5/9/2009

Sure enough, a minute or two later this young shrike darted out of the bushes and winged its way up to the telephone line, just a few feet away from its watching parent.

Loggerhead Shrike - 5/9/2009

The adult flew off just seconds later, with the youngster following shortly after.

For more great bird photos from around the world, check out Bird Photography Weekly #43.

Bird Photography Weekly


Anonymous said...

Nice find! I don't think I've seen a little one before. Great photos.

dAwN said...

Great! i really enjoyed seeing the young shrike! So clean and crisp..nice coloration.

KatDoc said...

Totally cool! Shrike is high on my Top Ten Most Wanted list, tho Northern is more likely in Ohio.


DaveABirding said...

Nice images, good comparisson of the yellow gape on the juvenile.

gwendolen said...

Pretty ones! Love the title ;-)

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

Great photos! I've never seen a young Loggerhead before.

Cute title, too!