Loggerhead Shrike

Lanius ludovicianus




Shrikes (Laniidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to gray marked with gray, brown or black

Number of Eggs:

4 - 7

Incubation Days:

16 - 17

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

8 - 50 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Twigs lined with grasses, string, feathers, and hair.





Loggerhead Shrike: Medium-sized shrike with gray upperparts and paler gray underparts. Mask is black and throat is white. Bill is heavy and slightly hooked. Wings are black with white patches. Tail is long, black, and white-edged. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is paler with faint bars over entire body.

Range and Habitat

Loggerhead Shrike: Breeds locally in extreme southern British Columbia, central Alberta, central Saskatchewan, southern Manitoba, southern Ontario, and southern Quebec, south throughout the U.S. Spends winters in the southern half of its breeding range. Preferred habitats include grasslands, orchards, and open areas with scattered trees.

Breeding and Nesting

Loggerhead Shrike: Four to seven white to gray eggs, marked with gray, brown or black, are laid in a bulky nest made of twigs and grass, lined with plant down and feathers, and set in a thorny shrub or tree. Incubation ranges from 16 to 17 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Loggerhead Shrike: Feeds on small vertebrates and invertebrates; hunts from a low perch in a tree, shrub, or power line, often catching prey on the ground. Maintains a food larder; impales prey on thorns or barbed wire.


Loggerhead Shrike: Emits a variety of harsh and musical notes and trills, or a thrasher-like series of double phrases.

Similar Species

Loggerhead Shrike: Northern Shrike is larger, paler, has faintly barred underparts, and black mask that does not extend across the top of bill.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X