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Shrike (Northern)

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Lanius borealis
Shrike (Northern)


They breed in Alaska, across northern Canada, in northern Eurasia to northern Africa, the Middle East, and India. They spend the winter in the southern part of their breeding range south to the northern U.S.


They live in open areas with tall trees, scrubby fields, wetland and open forests.

Body Traits

They have a gray back, a white throat and chest, and a white stripe over their black facemask. Each black wing has a white patch and their tail is black with white outer feathers. They have a large head with a big, hooked bill. Males and females look similar.


They will catch prey and pierce them on a thorn or fence post nail.


They eat insects, small mammals, birds, amphibians and some reptiles.

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They make a large open cup nest of twigs, roots and feathers and line it with grass and hair in a tree or shrub. Female lays 4 – 9 pale gray-greenish eggs with brown spots.

Shrike (Northern)


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Laniidae
Genus:   Lanius
Species: L. excubitor

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