Loggerhead Shrike

Lanius ludovicianus


Ted Gilliland
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eBird Checklist S56681290
Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard
Dukes, Massachusetts, United States
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Latitude and Longitude 41.3467, -70.8383 Map



Observation details

Wonderful to see this species in MA. Found while walking the open area with scattered bushes immediately to the south of the Gay’s Head traffic circle and Aquinnah Cultural Center. The bird was moving all about this area hunting from different shrubs. First seen at around 9:25 AM. It was chased off by a pair of Robins at around 10:20 AM, but may have stuck in the area. Shrike with short stout bill and broad black mask. Photos. The 23rd had SSW winds, strengthening as the day progress to a steady 20mph. The strong winds continued through the night shifting to mostly westerly by midnight. I covered this location well in the previous three days, so likely a recent arrival, at least to this specific location. The photographs are not especially clear, but there appears to be contrast between the tertials (fairly dark black) and some of the primaries (worn and browner). Best seen in the close-up photo of the bird looking away and the close-up profile shot. Pyle’s 1997 Identification Guide to NA Birds notes that Loggerhead Shrikes typically replace some tertials in the pre-formative molt (called first basic in Pyle, 1997). The pre-alternate molt is absent to limited (i.e., no flight feathers). So a contrast like this seems to suggest the bird is a second year (first spring). More than happy to hear other thoughts or opinions on aging.

Technical Information

Original file size
958 x 623

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