05 April 2013

Butcher Bird

A Great Grey Shrike showed well yesterday in a clear felled area near Crynant, but not today. Rob Jones and I watched it catch at least 4 Common Lizards and this unfortunate Shrew.
It was interesting to watch the Shrike first take the Shrew to a dead tree, where it killed it and impaled it on the jagged edge of a snapped branch. It didn't leave the Shrew there however, instead taking it down to a lower level 'larder.' A fallen Spruce with a short branch, splayed at the end, making for an ideal place to peg out the Shrew for consumption later on. With the puncture already in place the Shrike was able to position its kill at the lower level very quickly before flying off and, presumably, in doing so lessening the chances of losing it later on to an opportunistic scavenger.
Having just left the Shrew the Shrike flew to a distant dead tree where it very quickly afterwards, dropped to the ground to catch a Common Lizard, which it killed and ate immediately.

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