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Old 06-11-2017,
AgustinMar AgustinMar is offline
 
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Default Impurest's Guide to Animals #142 - Great Grey Shrike

Welcome dear victims er I mean readers to ‘Shocktober’, the time of year where I bring out the foulest and worst behaved members of the animal kingdom for viewing. Last week was the last cuddly issue (the Striped Polecat) until November. This week we will meet a butcher who hangs its victims on hooks and thorns, hope you guys enjoy.
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Old 06-12-2017,
agwerefbe agwerefbe is offline
 
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Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Aves
Order – Passeriformes
Family – Laniidae
Genus – Lanius
Species – excubitor
Related Species – The Great Grey Shrike is one of over twenty species found in the genus Lanius. (1)
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Old 06-12-2017,
ahTtgEP8LV ahTtgEP8LV is offline
 
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Great Grey or Northern Shrikes, as medium sized perching birds with an average body length of about 24cm, and a weight anywhere between 40 to 80 grams. The shrike is covered in light grey plumage accented by a black tail, black and white barring on the wings as well as across the eye. The beak of a great grey shrike is also black, although the base of the lower mandible is very pale in contrast with the upper jaw, and is hooked and heavily built to aid in the capture and dismantling of prey, since the bird lacks the raptorial feet found in birds of prey and in owls.
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Old 06-13-2017,
AhmadHodge AhmadHodge is offline
 
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Great grey shrikes are predators which feed on a wide variety of prey species, ranging from rodents and other small mammals, large insects, small birds, reptiles and even toads and salamanders. Terrestrial prey is often spotted from a sentry point in a tree, or during periods of hovering and is seized by the feet and quickly dispatched with the bird’s beak, while birds are caught by seizing their feet with the beak to ground them. Large or particular toxic prey, such as toads and grasshoppers, are often placed on thorns or barbed wire fences to be ripped apart, or matured since as mentioned above the shrike finds it difficult to rip prey apart by itself. In addition such grisly larders may also contain ‘cached’ food to act as emergency supplies, to support the shrike’s high metabolism (2), should the bird have days where it is unsuccessful while hunting.
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Old 06-14-2017,
admin admin is offline
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The Latin name of the Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor translates to ‘the Butcher Sentinel’ an apt name considering the hunting behaviour of this bird.
The term ‘shrike’ is a relatively new one when related to this bird, historically the bird has gone by many different names across its European range; Choking Angel in Germany, Magpie Killer in Switzerland and Greater Butcher Bird in England and France to name just a few.
Shrikes are not the only birds to construct larders, the unrelated Butcher Birds of Australia will also cache prey by leaving it in the branch fork of a tree away from potential thieves.
Great Grey Shrikes have another trick to help catch songbirds. The shrike will take up a sentinel post and mimic the call of its chosen prey species to lure them closer to its position before striking.
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