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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 29 Aug 2010 (Sunday) 20:44
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I think a Loggerhead Shrike is killing my backyard birds!

 
In2Photos
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Aug 29, 2010 20:44 |  #1

I know it's nature, but it still sucks! :evil:

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 :rolleyes:?).


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In2Photos
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Aug 29, 2010 22:00 |  #2

BTW here is a picture of the offender.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
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Mike, The Keeper of the Archive

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Naturalist
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Aug 29, 2010 22:29 |  #3

Yep, you got a Shrike.

It's all a part of nature just like hawk's have to eat also. Your options are to recognize and tolerate the behavior or take the feeder down for a few weeks so the birds disperse and the Shrike will leave for better hunting grounds.

Such is life.


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Aug 30, 2010 22:09 |  #4

I would love to have a Shrike in my yard.


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Aug 30, 2010 22:34 |  #5

I know what you mean badams. While living in Minnesota I had one in my backyard taking nuthatches and chickadees on occasion and it made for some good images and an interesting hands on field course in natural history.


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Larry ­ Weinman
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Aug 31, 2010 07:55 |  #6

When you get a predator in your yard, whether it be a shrike, hawk or cat the only solution is to take your feeders down for a while. The birds will find food elsewhere as birds only depend on one food source for about 20% of their needs. Eventually the predator will move on and you can rehang your feeders.


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Aug 31, 2010 08:00 |  #7

BB gun




  
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Aug 31, 2010 13:00 |  #8

Thanks for the replies! I have not seen the shrike since Sunday morning so maybe it has moved on. I've decided to leave my feeders up for now and just hope for the best.

robertwsimpson wrote in post #10822156 (external link)
BB gun

That is one thing I won't do. As much as I hate seeing the other birds get killed I would never harm this other bird.


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Sep 01, 2010 16:37 |  #9

I have foxes trying to get my chickens. :cry:


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Sep 03, 2010 19:05 |  #10

While it would be very cool to have a shrike around, if I were in that situation I'd take my feeders down, let the birds disperse, and then try putting them back up after a while. Otherwise they're just being made easy targets for the shrike. And the only thing a BB gun should be used for is to shut up any idiots out there who think shooting a native bird, which was attracted in the first place by human activity and is only acting according to its instincts, is an OK thing do to.


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Sep 03, 2010 19:18 as a reply to  @ gymell's post |  #11

Definitely a Shrike. Yeah, I'd think the only thing to do would be to take down the feeders...or train yourself a larger hawk to only hunt Shrikes ;)


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Sep 03, 2010 21:45 |  #12

You could put up a sign pointing to where the house sparrows are? (Sorry about the shrike scaring off your little birds, but I'd still love to see a shrike...)


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Sep 07, 2010 09:51 |  #13

Looks like he has a feather in his right claw in this picture. I've had a hawk visit my yard a few times and one of those times I think it got a dove because there were lots of feathers all over the deck but it was short lived though. Take feeders down for awhile. The regulars will return.

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BTW here is a picture of the offender.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif'


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Sep 10, 2010 09:28 as a reply to  @ Methodical's post |  #14

Al, he had a bird in that pic, I think it may have been a hummingbird.

The shrike hasn't been seen since that pic either. I guess he didn't like my backyard buddies that much after all. But my little female hummer hasn't been around either so I think he got her. :cry:

I left the feeders up the entire time. In fact, I bought a sock last weekend to lure the goldfinches in some more and the birds are providing plenty of entertainment. Thanks all for the suggestions!


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Sep 10, 2010 09:29 |  #15

Circle of life....


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I think a Loggerhead Shrike is killing my backyard birds!
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