Yesterday Bill Grimm and I relocated the Northern Shrike that's been hanging out at Pheasant Branch Conservancy since early November. The shrike was scouring the thicket of grass and young oaks along the southern slope of the drumlin, flying from tree to tree. Coming up empty, it perched atop one of the taller oak trees and scanned the horizon. Suddenly, something at near big springs caught its attention. It darted off in an undulating flight, gaining speed as it traveled, flying about a dozen feet above the ground. I've seen shrikes fly substantial distances before, but never one going so fast as this bird - it was as impressive as it was beautiful. We lost track of it when it dropped behind the tall prairie grass near the main trail. Moments later, it reappeared overlooking the springs from another tall perch. For the shrike's sake, I was hoping to watch it catch something. That said, the bird was looking pretty spry and healthy, so I'm confident it's been eating well.
Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Nov 20, 2011 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Great Horned Owl
American Tree Sparrow
Northern Shrike © 2011 Mike McDowell