Loggerhead Shrike Feasts on a Mole Cricket

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I found several Loggerhead Shrikes on Brumley Road not far from my house. This one had impaled a Mole Cricket on the barbed wire fence. As I drove by it flew up and perched on the fence by the cricket. After a few seconds, it pulled it off the barbed wire, held it for a couple more seconds in its mouth, and then re-positioned and swallowed the cricket.

Shrikes are famous for impaling their prey. They do this for several reasons: 1) it allows them to cache food for later consumption, 2) some insects like lubber grasshoppers have toxins that can make birds sick, but caching food allows the toxins to become less potent, and 3) shrikes lack talons, so thorns and barbed wire can be useful for holding prey in place while consuming it.

I’m not sure why this fascinates me so much, but it’s one reason why Loggerhead Shrikes are one of my favorite birds.

This has captured a Mole Cricket.

Loggerhead Shrike with Mole Cricket Impaled on Barbed Wire

Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike Re-positioning the Mole Cricket

Loggerhead Shrike Swallowing Mole Cricket

Loggerhead Shrike Cleaning Bill

Loggerhead Shrike sporting a “Don’t mess with me” Look

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons

, based in Florida, is a lover of nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. Scott became interested in photography in 2001 when he was given his first SLR camera. When he acquired a telephoto lens, he became progressively more interested in birds and other wildlife. Scott enjoys learning about bird habitats and behavior, striving always to take images that are both beautiful and interpretive. Scott believes photography is a great vehicle to help others to appreciate the wonder for the stuff of earth.

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons, based in Florida, is a lover of nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. Scott became interested in photography in 2001 when he was given his first SLR camera. When he acquired a telephoto lens, he became progressively more interested in birds and other wildlife. Scott enjoys learning about bird habitats and behavior, striving always to take images that are both beautiful and interpretive. Scott believes photography is a great vehicle to help others to appreciate the wonder for the stuff of earth.

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Steven Scott

Great photography Scott!

Nan Rosset
Nan Rosset

superb sighting and pictures