I know it's nature, but it still sucks!
For the past two days we have had a new bird at our house. It appears to be a Loggerhead Shrike. The first day my wife saw it on our fence trying to pull something large up and over. At first glance we thought it was a mocking bird, but wondered what it would have been carrying that was so big. It dropped what it was carrying and flew up to the top of a nearby tree so I went outside to see what was dropped. It was a house finch, headless. I got a better glimpse of the bird but not long enough to figure out what it was. It eventually flew off and I didn't see it come back as we left shortly after.
Today I looked outside to see something in the trees where my hummers normally perch. It was the same bird and it appeared to have either a large insect (dragonfly or similar) or a small bird (like a hummer). I grabbed my camera and went out to see if I could get a picture for ID purposes. I got one in the trees but couldn't tell what it had in its grasp. It flew off and I followed it, but it landed on the neighbors fence. I got a couple more pics but still couldn't tell what it had in its grasp. They were enough for ID purposes though.
I'm almost scared to leave the feeders out in the yard right now, especially feeding the young bluebirds. Is there anything that scares these birds away without scaring the rest of the birds away? I know this bird will continue to find food like smaller birds, but I'd prefer it didn't do it in my backyard. I'm just now really starting to get all sorts of visitors and I'd hate to see anything happen to them. I've got the Cardinals coming by the handful, the house finches, mourning doves, mocking birds, a couple of occasional gold finches, the bluebirds and hummers, and even those pesky starlings (why can't the shrike go after them ?).