Loggerhead Shrike

(Lanius ludovicianus)

Conservation Status


No Image Available

  IUCN Red List

NT - Near Threatened


N4 - Apparently Secure

S2B - Imperiled Breeding



In 1984, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) classified the Loggerhead Shrike a threatened species. In 2013, the DNR elevated its status to endangered.

Species in Greatest Conservation Need


A black mask extends over the eye and across the face over the bill. There is no white stripe over the eye. The breast and underparts are faintly gray, not barred.




8 to 10in length

12 wingspan




Similar Species


Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is slimmer and has a slimmer bill. It does not have a black mask.

Northern Shrike (Lanius borealis) is only seen in Minnesota in winter. The black mask is narrower and does not extend across the face over the bill. There is a white stripe over the eye. The breast and underparts are lightly barred.

Northern Shrikes and Loggerhead Shrikes are similar in appearance and difficult to distinguish from the distance at which they are usually seen. They are best identified by the time of year they are spotted. If a shrike is seen in Minnesota in the winter, it is almost certainly a Northern Shrike. If it is seen in the summer, it is definitely a Loggerhead Shrike.


Shortgrass prairies and abandoned agricultural fields with shrubs, small trees, fences, or other perching sites.




Early March to late April and August to late September








Mostly large insects but also small birds, rodents, shrews, amphibians, and reptiles.




Occasional to uncommon summer migrant, rare and local breeder, rare to absent in winter.




The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

  Class Aves (birds)  


Passeriformes (perching birds)  


Lanidae (shrikes)  


Lanius (typical shrikes)  

Subordinate Taxa


Grinnell’s Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus grinnelli)

Island Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi)

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus ludovicianus)

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus miamensis)

Mexican Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mexicanus)

Migrant Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus migrans)

Prairie Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus excubitorides)

San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi)















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MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos






  Loggerhead Shrike
Allen Chartier
  Loggerhead Shrike  
  Loggerhead Shrike
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
  Loggerhead Shrike  
  Loggerhead Shrike
JMC Nature Photos
  Loggerhead Shrike  



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Other Videos
  World's Weirdest - Cute Bird Impales Its Prey

Published on Jun 15, 2012

World's Weirdest: Freaks of the Sky : SUN OCT 14 at 4P et/pt : http://animals.nationalgeographic.com

It might look like a lightweight, but the shrike is a stone-cold killer. The thorns of the acacia tree are perfect for impaling prey, and they double as a pantry. Lizard on the barbie, anyone?

  The Audubon Moment - The Loggerhead Shrike
The Audubon Moment

Published on May 19, 2014

Loggerhead Shrikes are the little song birds that act like much larger birds of prey. Instead of killing with talons like a raptor, these birds kill with their beaks. Victims are then impaled on a thorn to be eaten, piece by piece. At least he looks cute!

  Loggerhead Shrike - (Lanius ludovicianus)
Mark Vance

Uploaded on Feb 20, 2012

Loggerhead Shrike - (Lanius ludovicianus) By: Mark H. Vance - Be sure to check out all of Mark's bird videos at http://www.youtube.com/markinsrq5 Please subscribe if you like birds, many more great videos to come! Thanks

Mark Vance
5342 Clark Rd #144
Sarasota, Fl 34233

The Celery Fields - Sarasota, Florida Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/groups/218447741581516/
Please join!

  Loggerhead Shrike impaled small snake on barbed wire

Uploaded on Oct 11, 2009

  Loggerhead Shrike - Lanius ludovicianus
Stoil Ivanov

Published on Jun 25, 2013

Loggerhead Shrike ( Lanius ludovicianus ) video taken on Antelope Island Utah 6-10-2013




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Tera Olson

Location: Elk River, Spikes store

appeared injured but we went back to find it later and could not locate it

MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings






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