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Decoy - Shrike Trickery

Luring their supper in, with a song
© Robert Mortensen View Large

Northern Shrikes are unapologetically cool, with their black masks, elegant gray plumage, and predatory lifestyle. But these little raptors, although technically songbirds, sometimes sound less than appealing. Two species of shrike — the Loggerhead and the Northern — are widespread in North America. They sit on wires and treetops, waiting for a bite: sometimes another bird. Shrikes may lure small birds with their song, including phrases that resemble the calls of some of their prey species: chickadees, sparrows, and other tender feathered morsels.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Decoy

Written by Rick Wright

This is BirdNote.
[Northern Shrike (130991) 9:47 and following]
Shrikes are unapologetically, indisputably, absolutely cool, with their neat black masks, elegant gray plumage, and predatory lifestyle. Technically, these little raptors are classified as songbirds, but to our ears their song can sometimes sound less than appealing:
[Northern Shrike (130991) 9:47 and following]
Female shrikes obviously like it, though. And some other birds are drawn to it, too. Particularly, it seems, the small species that shrikes prey on in wintertime.
[Northern Shrike (130991) 09:47 and following]
Two species of shrike — the Loggerhead and the Northern — are widespread in open areas of North America, where they sit patiently on wires and treetops, waiting for a bite: sometimes another bird. Scientific studies have shown that shrikes regularly lure these small birds within striking range — with their song.
[Northern Shrike (130991) 02:50 and following]
In fact, some Northern Shrike songs include phrases that closely resemble the calls of some of their prey species: chickadees, sparrows, and other tender feathered morsels. It isn’t clear whether the shrikes “intentionally” lure their quarry with song, but they certainly make the most of it when the opportunity comes along.
[Northern Shrike (130991) 09:47 and following]
You can hear more of the shrikes’ songs — and see videos — when you come to our website, BirdNote.org. I’m Michael Stein.

###

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Northern Shrike [130991] by Gerrit Vyn.
BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
© 2017 Tune In to Nature.org    May 2017   Narrator: Michael Stein
ID#  shrike-01-2017-05-04               shrike-01

Northern Shrike calls and song http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/517909 - Benjamin M. Clock
Loggerhead Shrike song http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/30188 Oliver H. Hewitt

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