all other songbirds

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrike

Like a sentinel, as described by its species name excubitor, Latin for watchman or guard, the Northern Shrike surveys its territory from a low perch on a shrub or post. With precision it hunts using a direct flight toward its prey-a small rodent or another bird-and dispatches it quickly by “pounding its bill into the base or back of the skull and the using its hooked bill severing the spinal cord between the neck vertebrae as falcons do” (Sibley).