#Biodiversity150 number 107 of 150 Loggerhead Shrike

107/150: Loggerhead Shrike – The “Butcher Bird”

Animalia: Chordata: Aves: Passeriformes: Laniidae: Lanius: Lanius ludovicianus Linnaeus, 1766

The loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) is classed as Endangered, with only 31 breeding pairs reported in Ontario in 2009, leading to many captive breeding programs. Although classed as a passerine bird (often known as perching, or song birds), shrikes hunt in an almost hawk-like way, impaling prey on spiny bushes or barbed wire fences before tearing it apart to eat. Interestingly, this method is required not because of the strength of the shrike’s bill, but because its feet are not strong enough to provide the resistance necessary to tear its prey. The diet of this bird usually consists of large insects such as grasshoppers, although it has been known to hunt prey as large as birds, frogs and small mammals. Loggerhead shrikes only live in Canada from April through September, over-wintering in the Southern United States. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

A perched loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus). Photo Credit: Terry Ross goo.gl/HzdLvY
The result of the captive breeding program with the Smithsonian National Zoo and the Toronto Zoo, 10 loggerhead shrike nestlings hatched in the spring of 2015. Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo goo.gl/Tu4XX1

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: TZBNA337-03

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Loggerhead Shrike

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ABY8809

Title Image: A loggerhead shrike, tearing apart its prey impaled on a barbed wire fence.
Photo Credit: Marshal Hedin goo.gl/4FpVBs