This is a Northern Shrike. I did not take this photo.
A few months ago, one of these birds visited my feeders. When my daughter and I noticed it, our attention was grabbed because of its size and unusual coloring. Its not like any bird I've seen and it made a 'striking presence' on the tray feeder. I remembered its beak - I remember mentioning it to people because it was so hefty. Before I could get my camera in hand, it flew off and we never saw it again. Until yesterday... while I was out. My daughter reported that the bird had returned but she didn't have a very good impression of it this time. Apparently, one of the little pine siskins flew into the window - yes, even with decals! It was stunned and landed on the window sill. She said that she was going to open the window to see if the little bird was ok, when all of a sudden this bird, the Northern Shrike flew in and GRABBED THE LITTLE BIRD AND FLEW OFF WITH IT IN ITS BEAK! ! ! 'Striking presence'? I should say so! I decided to look this bird up with more effort this time and what I found was very sad news for birders. I know that nature has its ways and all that, but this bird is not one you want hanging around your feeders! It doesn't have talons, so to kill its prey, it strikes a little bird hard with its powerful beak! The Shrike eats little birds. It will carry one off in its beak and if it doesn't want to eat it right then, it will impale it on thorns or barbed wire. It seems that it is only in this area during the non-breeding season, and from what I can find out, it is not real common here - for which I am very thankful!
I was born and raised on the east coast of Canada. I was a "stay-at-home" mom for 30 years with 6 wonderful children. I live each day with the incredible joy of knowing that God has created all things and He has packed every living thing with amazing potential, and I have just begun the journey to find out what my own potential is!