A Loggerhead Shrike's Larder
Our local Loggerhead Shrike has been very busy lately. Staff and visitors to Prairie Ridge continue to find numerous meals that have been stored for later on the thorns of hawthorn trees in our lowland forest arboretum. Thus far all of the meals have been grasshoppers, though shrikes will also make a meal of small mammals, reptiles, and birds. These recent finds have inspired two of the Museum's biologists to set pen to paper with the following results:
What a terrible bird is the shrike.
It's a bird that I really don't like.
It'll kill smaller birds,
In ways too cruel for words,
And impale 'em upon a sharp spike.
— Jeff Beane, Herpetology Collection Manager
'Tis a bird with a face like a bandit
With a gleam and a glare much too candid
Be it mouse, bird or bug,
It awaits like a thug,
A plot oh so cruel, I can't stand it!
— John Gerwin, Curator of Birds
Find out more about the natural happenings at Prairie Ridge at our What Time Is It In Nature Archive.