Family Shrikes (Laniidae)

Least Concern

Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus)


Taxonomy

French: Pie-grièche migratrice German: Louisianawürger Spanish: Alcaudón americano
Taxonomy:

Lanius ludovicianus

Linnaeus

, 1766,

Louisiana, USA

.

Race anthonyi may be genetically distinct#R. Races intergrade, making subspecific delimitation difficult. Other proposed races include gambeli (Calaveras County, in EC California), nevadensis (Inyo County, in E California) and sonoriensis (Chiracahua Mts, in SE Arizona), all subsumed into excubitorides, and miamensis (Miami-Dade County, in SE Florida) merged with nominate; and, in Mexico, nelsoni (S Baja California) synonymized with mexicanus. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. l. excubitorides Swainson, 1832 – SW Canada (C Alberta, S Saskatchewan and SW Manitoba) S in W USA to E Washington, extreme S Oregon and S Idaho and to California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (except NE), E to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and W Oklahoma; non-breeding in S parts of range and S to W Mexico (including Baja California).
  • L. l. grinnelli Oberholser, 1919 – extreme S California (S from San Diego County) S to extreme NW Mexico (C Baja California Norte).
  • L. l. anthonyi Mearns, 1898 – Channel Is (Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Santa Catalina), off S California.
  • L. l. mearnsi Ridgway, 1903 – San Clemente I, in Channel Is, off S California.
  • L. l. migrans Palmer, 1898 – SE Canada (S Ontario, S Quebec) and, in USA, from E edge of Great Plains (E from Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and NE Texas) E to New York and Atlantic coast, and S into Mississippi Valley to N Mississippi, Arkansas and N Louisiana; non-breeding in S of range and S to Gulf Coast states and E coast of Mexico.
  • L. l. ludovicianus Linnaeus, 1766 – E & S USA (E of Appalachian Mts) from North Carolina S to Gulf Coast states and S tip of Florida.
  • L. l. mexicanus C. L. Brehm, 1854 – W & C Mexico (including S Baja California) S to Oaxaca.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–22 cm; 43–54 g. A medium-sized shrike with medium-length tail. Male nominate race has black facial mask from lores and very narrowly over base of bill back to... read more

    Voice

    Huge variety of calls. Repeated harsh screeching “tscheeer-tscheeer…” and sharp... read more

    Habitat

    Breeds in open country with short vegetation, generally below 2000 m elevation. Prefers active... read more

    Food and feeding

    Almost 70% insectivorous, more so than L. excubitor. Chief among prey items are grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera) and beetles... read more

    Breeding

    Breeds earlier than most other passerines. Laying mainly Feb–Jul; late May to Jul in N of range, but in S eggs found as early as mid-... read more

    Movements

    N populations migratory, most wintering S of latitude 40º N; populations in extreme N of range... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rare to locally fairly common. Decreasing trend in E (E of R Mississippi); some W populations appear stable, but not well studied.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Yosef, R. & International Shrike Working Group (2017). Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/60481 on 20 October 2017).