Saturday, July 26, 2008

Loggerhead Shrike

Remember that Loggerhead Shrike I was going on about a few days ago? Well I got him. I ran over to the spot late Fri afternoon.
I've had a bit a experience with Loggerhead Shrikes before so it didn't take long to spot him perched right where he should be. On the power line just above the hedgerow.

He was about 150 to 200 yds out so my 300mm lens was rather useless. All the pictures I took I had to digiscope with my DSLR because I had somehow left my digiscoping camera behind. 

It's quite obviously a Shrike though and it's pretty clear that it is indeed a Loggerhead. 
This was probably the best picture I got of him:

Then, I called my friend Barb and told her that the Shrike was still present. 
While I was talking to her, I got a big surprise. A SECOND Loggerhead Shrike hopped up on the power line next to the first one!!  Only 1 Shrike had originally been reported.  The presence of a second bird changed the whole situation. 

There they are.  I watched both of them hunt from the power line and from a post in the middle of the Soybean field.  WI does have 14 nesting records for this species so I watched them for about an hour and a half. They seemed to be a pair and they hung around the same area the entire time.  As I watched, they repeatedly brought food back to the same spot in the hedgerow. I did not however actually see young or see them feeding young. 

I will check again tomorrow on my way to Chicago. Hopefully, I'll be able to walk out there and look for a nest. If I find one, it would be a first nesting record for Southwest WI.  All the previous nesting records are from the Southeast part of the state. 

Keep in mind though, these are not regular WI summer birds. They are indeed rare birds and to find one is quite a find, much less finding two!  
I would think that finding 2 Loggerhead Shrikes this far north at this time of year makes it highly probable that they are nesting. Unfortunately, I am leaving again tomorrow so I will not be able to check them again after tomorrow.   

Also, BTW, after tomorrow, from Mon Jul 28 to either Aug 24 or Aug 28th, I will not have internet access so I will not be able to post at all between those dates. 
I may be able to work in one more post before the 28th but if I don't, I hope everyone is having fun reading my blog and I will certainly complete my trip reports when I return in Aug. 
Until we meet again, Happy Birding!!

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