Loggerhead Shrike

About the Loggerhead Shrike
Also known as: Butcher Bird
Loggerhead Shrike

The Loggerhead Shrike breeds in semi-open areas in southern Ontario, Quebec and Alberta south to Mexico where it nests in dense trees and schrubs. It is also known as the 'Butcher Bird' as it impales its prey on thorns or barbed wire before eating it, because it lacks the talons of birds of prey. 'Loggerhead' refers to the relatively large head as compared to the rest of the body.

It looks much like a Northern Shrike, but the Loggerhead Shrike is smaller and its black mask extends across the forehead above the beak, which is usually not the case with the Northern Shrike. Finally, the beak of the Northern Shrike is longer than that of the Loggerhead.

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Loggerhead Shrike Photos

Details & Statistics


The Loggerhead Shrike is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

International Names

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Related Articles

Spot the Differences

The Loggerhead Shrike and Northern Shrike can both be found across North America, so how do you tell them apart? Well, there are three important differences between these two species: 1. The Northern Shrike is bigger than the Loggerhead (one to two inches longer); 2. The...  Read more »