Adding a Loggerhead Shrike to my Bird Photo Checklist

I’ve made several unsuccessful excursions to look for loggerhead shrikes because they are an uncommon species.  They prefer cow pastures with plenty of short trees–a landscape that is being replaced by expanding suburban development.  My sister and her husband recently moved to a gated community in south Florida that was formerly a cattle ranch but has been converted to an housing development built around a golf course.  Abundant wildlife still occurs in the neighborhood, and on my first visit I was able to get a nice photograph of a large bobcat.  I visited my sister on Thanksgiving and was able to get several photographs of a loggerhead shrike–a species I had only seen 3 times prior to this occasion.  I never thought I would get a good look at this bird, let alone get a photo of it.

Loggerhead shrike in Bradenton, Florida.  Click to enlarge.

I’ve written a blog entry about shrikes previously.  See: https://markgelbart.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/pleistocene-pastures-and-loggerhead-shrikes-lanius-ludovicianus/

I took a walk around the golf course on Thanksgiving.  It is a maritime forest consisting of live oak, loblolly pine, saw palmetto, Carolina palmetto, red maple, grape vine,  a non-native flower related to evening primrose, and sedge.  The water traps host anhingas, herons, cormorants, coots, and many other birds.  I saw red dragonflies and azure butterflies.

This is a non-native plant related to evening primrose.  It is very common in this woodlot.

At the hotel I saw the same species of birds as I did last Thanksgiving.  A flock of white ibis must live there year round.

The same flock of white ibis I saw last year along with a great egret.

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3 Responses to “Adding a Loggerhead Shrike to my Bird Photo Checklist”

  1. ina puustinen westerholm Says:

    Huzzah for the shriek sighting..and I did go read your prev. posting…see the picture. New information is welcome. The ‘gated community’..sigh..not so much. Hope you/your family..have the wisdom to..remain..in the fuller community of mankind.. ina

  2. Eric Says:

    A good place in Florida to see loggerhead shrikes during winter is Kissimmee Prairie Preserve; this might be a bit farther south than you regularly travel. The preserve has large expenses of grasslands with trails; lots of birds, including grasshopper sparrows. The shrikes are usually on the fences around the pastures near the preserve entrance.
    And the yellow flower is a species of Ludwigia (Onagraceae, the Evening Primose Family), probably L. peruviana. Not native to Florida but there are many other species of Ludwigia (mostly native) in the SE USA.
    Wishing you safe and happy traveling!

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