Thursday, 27 November 2008

Shrike: A Pose

Steppy again, perched on my scope.

No report of the bird today, although midweek birders may have been thin on the ground with the rainy forecast. One theory for why the bird looks so untidy goes that its native habitat are the arid plains of areas like Kazahkstan, leaving this bird naturally unaccustomed to hunting for prey in wet grass. As good a theory as any I suppose, particularly as I read in the Lincolnshire Bird Club forum a list of discoveries found in one of the shrike's pellets:

Remains of at least 11 Pterostichus melanarius (Carabidae – ground beetle family)
Remains of at least 3 Pterostichus niger (Carabidae)
Remains of 1 Ocypus olens (Devil’s coach horse beetle – Staphylinidae/rove beetles)
One aedeagus (male sexual organ) of Catops tristis (Coleoptera – Leiodidae)
Remains of unidentified species of beetle elytra (wing cases)
Miscellaneous heads of non-Coleoptera invertebrates (possibly Diptera)
Heads of two different species of possible Lepidoptera

So beetles basically, which makes sense for a bird smaller than our voracious Great Greys.

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