Bird #102 — Northern Shrike

lanius (butcher) excubitor (sentinel)

Saturday, February 2, 1980 — 12:30 pm

Barrington, Illinois — Crabtree Nature Center

During the early years, Sally actually went birding with me upon occasion.  She didn’t mind the walking, and she didn’t mind looking at birds.  But looking for birds, the slow stalking and patient waiting, she didn’t find terribly exciting.

This was a typical Chicago winter day, with snow on the ground, clear blue skies and a cold wind.  It’s been quite a while since Sally went out with me on this kind of day.

The Northern Shrike was perched in the top of a tall tree on the prairie trail between the marsh and the prairie.  We got fairly close, and I got a chance to see all the field marks (including the light lower mandible and the barring on the breast) before the shrike flew to the top of another tree further away.  When it flew, it dropped down off its perch, flew just above the ground and rose up again just before arriving at the next perch.

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