I was in Florida this past weekend.
It was nice to be in the sunshine, to walk around my old neighborhoods and to work out with no shirt on. On Sunday I went to a park and went for a long walk and did some HIIT exercises.
Most of you who follow my Twitter know that I love birds. My father and I have been bird watchers since I was little, and I have always had a real passion for finding new birds and keeping track of the birds I have seen in my life.
Since moving to Tennessee, I have added an entire new list to my collection. I’ve seen Carolina Wrens, Cowbirds, Mountain Blue Birds, Red Belly Wood Peckers and more. The last place I expected to see a new bird was in Florida.
I was in the middle of my workout, and I turn around and see a bird on the top of the fencing that surrounded the baseball field I was working out in.
I snapped a quick picture. The thing that immediately caught my attention was the little hook on the end of its bill.
I also noticed it’s white belly and prominent black mask around it’s eyes. Here’s a close up.
It’s a Shrike. A Loggerhead Shrike to be exact. I’ve always wanted to see one.
Do you know what Shrikes do?
They are beautiful, ruthless little hunters. They catch prey, such as moles, crickets, lizards, grasshoppers, mice, etc. Their beaks are very strong and they can carry heavy loads. Once they catch their prey, they grab them by the neck and they trash back and forth, with intentions to break the necks of their prey, or at least incapacitate them.
Then, they fly their prey to a nearby thorn bush and IMPALE them so that they can keep the food safe while whatever toxins or poisons leave the body of its meal. This is how The Shrike can eat Monarch Butterflies and poisonous toads.
But even in cases where their prey is not poisonous, they impale them anyway, seemingly as a way to store it’s food and keep it safe from other scavengers.
Don’t believe me? Check this out.