Northern Shrike on branch
Northern Shrike (Lanius borealis) Photo Credit: Janet Bauer

Feeding Habits: Nicknamed “butcher birds,” northern shrikes eat songbirds, insects, rodents and occasionally reptiles. They have been known to save their prey for later by impaling them on barbed wire and thorns.

Unique Features: Smallest bird of prey in North America. Northern shrike spend their winters in the United States, but breed in the tundra and boreal forests of northern Canada and Alaska.  They possess a “tomial tooth,” a tooth-like spike on their upper bill that allows them to kill their prey with a quick bite to the neck.