A Winter Visitor – Northern Shrike

Immature Northern Shrike
Immature Northern Shrike

Click on Photo to See a Larger Image

I enjoyed photographing this immature Northern Shrike a couple of days ago at the Edmonds Marsh.  I had never photographed a Shrike before and it was a challenge following this one around as it flew back and forth between the low branches on several trees in addition to occasionally dropping down to the ground. I have since seen the bird several more times in the same set of trees on the perimeter of the marsh, so it appears that it has a specific territory where it spends most of its time.

After watching and following the bird for about ten minutes, it finally settled on the branch it is on in the photograph above and sat there for several minutes, giving me the opportunity to get fairly close to it and to experiment with several different exposures.

The Northern Shrike is an interesting songbird that actually preys on small mammals, birds and insects.  Definitely a more varied diet than the songbirds that visit the feeder in my backyard!  These birds spend their summers in Alaska and northern Canada and in some years winter further south when the rodent populations in the north is low.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi. Great shot.. These are beautiful birds. At the Fill one Winter early in the A.M. I had one singing away to the rising sun. They are a beautiful song bird as well!
    Also, at The Big Ditch in Stanwood, I found a small mouse impaled on a thorn tree branch. The work of a Shrike I’d guess 🙂

    1. Thanks Arthur. I have observed this bird a couple of times now, but have not heard it sing – hopefully I will get to hear that one of these days! Mike

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