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Loyalton WTP
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Passeriformes > Laniidae

Northern Shrike

Lanius borealis

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Identification

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Uncommon thrush-sized bird found in open and patchy habitats across much of northern North America and northeastern Asia. Adults are pale gray above with a black mask, black wings with small white patch at base of primaries, often with faint grayish barring on underparts. Young birds are browner and more heavily barred than adults, with reduced white in wing and more diffuse dark mask. Breeds in open shrubby forest and willow thickets; in winter can be found in dunes, brushy fields, or hedgerows in agricultural areas. Usually seen singly, often perched conspicuously on a snag or powerline. In North America, may overlap with Loggerhead Shrike in winter. Northern is slightly larger, paler, and shows more white around the eye. Carnivorous habits make shrikes unique among passerines; they feed on rodents and small birds. Undulating flight; watch for white patches in the wings.

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Northern Shrike

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