A thwarted Shrike attack

We love watching the Loggerhead Shrikes and checking the sharp prickly branches they perch on, as that is where the Shrikes often impale their prey, left to dry out, and be consumed later!  Their nickname is “Butcher Bird“, as I described in a previous post!IMG_1708My husband caught sight of one of the Loggerhead Shrikes arguing with a Red-bellied Woodpecker over a treetop, in what appeared to be a territorial dispute.

IMG_1711The Woodpecker ‘held his ground’ on the tree with great determination.

– even as the Shrike began dive-bombing him quite aggressively!IMG_1713Only after the Woodpecker finally succeeded in chasing off the Shrike, did we discover the rest of the story!!IMG_1732Upon closer examination of the area, we realized we could hear the loud chirping of hungry baby Red-bellied Woodpeckers in a nearby nesting box !  IMG_1741

Sure enough, we hadn’t witnessed merely a battle over territory, after all. . . . Our Woodpecker friend was desperately trying to protect his chicks from being lunch for the Shrike!!

23 thoughts on “A thwarted Shrike attack

  1. As descriptive and colorful as your post is and as nicely as it captures the moment, you just had to be there to witness this fight for survival! 😎

  2. Spring is rife with parents protecting their nestlings, it’s quite incredible to witness. I loved the story and photos, here, BJ — thank you. It’s rare to see a shrike and woodpecker battle.

    • I really appreciate your visit and your comments, Jet! Yes, this is certainly the time we see this behavior. Just last week I witnessed two different occasions when Red-winged Blackbirds chased down and attacked Red-shouldered Hawks who were going after their chicks. The Hawks seemed non-plussed, but the RWBB’s were relentless!!

    • So true! I often see the relatively smaller Cattle Egrets and Anhingas valiantly defending their young from the massive and bossy Wood Storks who’ve taken over their rookeries.

  3. Pingback: Join In – it is not meaningless! – stbarbebaker

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