This Northern Shrike was photographed on one of my walks here in our rural town back in January of 2014, High Desert of Oregon. I see these masked birds on this walk every winter. They are typically screaming at me as I walk this rout which by the way since the tree the Harriers liked to perch at had been burned down this has been rather a uninteresting part of my walk in winter until I seen this bird! Perhaps screaming at me is to dramatic? They give off this call as if stressed out, warming everyone around. Not as bad as the Scrub Jays though hard to keep your presents unknown. This one just happened to stay put for whatever reason that I do not know of why?
This is how I typically see these Northern Shrikes. Deeper in those tree slash bushes there. They do not seam to like to be seen by me or my camera most of the time. I do not bother photographing them on many of my walks here, no real reason other then they tend to get so stressed out! I take shots with the camera just for the noise at this distance so the wildlife get used to the click my camera makes. Seams to calm at least the birds down some so I can get closer to them. The birds get so curious they do not notice their photograph being taken. I walk slow and with purpose keeping my mouth shut. This works for me! Being alone helps with this process I have developed. Heck some of the birds must think the camera click is some odd bird for birds such as the Hummingbird has even challenged me and my camera more then one time! How I get some of my photographs I get.
Then the Northern Shrike moved higher up and better seen. Knowing I was there, I clicked off a few shots and kept walking. I read where this species is very territorial. A rather large song bird who just happens to hunt bugs, lizards, frogs, mice. Killing their food and even eating it later on. This is one of my places to photograph bugs, frogs at other times of the year. Mice all year around. Lots of mice and other small rodents here at this spot!!
These are not the best shots in the world, however we get what we can get until the next opportunity presents itself right?
I will spend more time with these birds now that I know they are more then just cute masked bandits next time I am on this walk in winter time ! Thank you for coming by!