The Northern Shrike is a
winter-only resident of South Dakota, spending its summers in northern Canada
and Alaska. A predatory songbird, they will sometimes cache food for later
by impaling their prey on a thorn or barbed wire. They will sometimes
attend feeders, both for suet and for the other birds feeding there.
Habitat: Prefers semi-open to open habitat when wintering in
the state, as long as hunting perches are available. In the summer, lives
in shrubby areas or areas of very open woodland.
Diet: Feeds heavily on small birds,
especially in the winter. Also takes many mice and voles, other small
rodents, large insects, and occasionally lizards and snakes.
Behavior: Feeds by observing from an open perch,
and swooping out to capture prey when spotted.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: A mixture of musical notes and phrases,
along with raspy shrieks. Will also imitate other birds.
Migration: Summers through Alaska and the northern half of Canada. Winters from
coastal Alaska, southern Canada, and the northern 2/3rds of the United
States. Also found in Europe and Asia.
Feeders: Will attend feeders for suet, hamburger, and
also the other birds you're feeding!!
Conservation Status: Generally stable throughout it's range, but of
possible concern due to decline of other shrike species.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Northern Shrike"
eNature.com: Northern Shrike
Photo Information: December 2004 - Sax-Zim Bog in
Minnesota - Terry Sohl