Calling adult Loggerhead Shrike

Calling adult Loggerhead ShrikeCalling adult Loggerhead Shrike

Two days ago I posted a portrait of a juvenile Loggerhead Shrike that I had photographed on Antelope Island State Park, today I am posting an image of an adult Loggerhead Shrike taken a day after I photographed the young shrike.

This adult was busy trying to feed a passel of fledglings and took a short break on the top of a Sagebrush near the pickup. This time of the year the adults look a bit ragged, probably from all the hectic activity involved in taking care of their young although I am just guessing about that. At any rate during the fall and winter the adults do have a more “dapper” look than they do during the breeding season.


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Juvenile Loggerhead Shrike close up

Juvenile Loggerhead Shrike close upJuvenile Loggerhead Shrike close up – Nikon D300, handheld, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 640, +0.7 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

Yesterday a family of Loggerhead Shrikes kept us busy for a bit as the juveniles begged the adults to feed them and the adults were hunting food to bring to the rather noisy youngsters on Antelope Island State Park. One of the juveniles came very close to flying into the open windows of the pickup!

One of the young Loggerhead Shrikes flew onto a very close, elevated perch near the pickup and sat there for quite a few minutes so I decided to do some close up portrait images of it because I didn’t want the ugly, manmade perch to be visible in the frames. I had to turn off my limiter because the bird was so close in order to be able to focus on the young shrike.

It isn’t often I am this close to a Loggerhead Shrike!


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Today on On the Wing Photography

Today marks the publication of my 700th post for On The Wing Photography. Yesterday I passed the 250,000 views mark on my blog which has reached viewers in 170 countries.

I’m so grateful to all of my viewers, for the comments you make on my posts, about my images and for the information you share with me. It has been a learning experience for me. I love sharing my photos with you all and hope that some of the tips I give have been helpful. I’ve also gotten to meet so many wonderful people through this blog.

I’m not a writer, I am just someone who writes about what I photograph, about my subjects plus the stories behind the images.

Also yesterday a friend of mine, Rod Wellington finished a 256 day, 3800 mile, totally self-propelled journey. Rod kayaked from the uppermost source of the Missouri River at Brower’s Spring in Montana, down the Missouri River to its confluence with the Mississippi River where he headed south to the Gulf of Mexico. All of this was under his own power including some long portages.

This isn’t the only long journey that Rod has set his sights on as he plans the do the 7 longest river on 7 different Continents all of which will be totally self-propelled. He is an amazing man and inspiration! Check out his blog at Zero Emissions Expeditions.

I have some news I want to share with you all. Yesterday the new edition of the National Geographic Pocket Guides to Birds of North America; by Laura Erickson and Jonathan Alderfer,  hit the book store shelves.


The reason I am writing about this book is because it has two of my images in it!

Perched adult Loggerhead ShrikePerched adult Loggerhead Shrike

This Loggerhead Shrike image is on page 110.

Snowy EgretSnowy Egret

And this Snowy Egret is on page 39.

When I was a child I used to pour over the National Geographic Magazines that were a gift subscription from my grand parents and as I grew older I also purchased books published by National Geographic. Who knew that one day my photos would be in a book published by National Geographic? I am truly honored.

This book has 192 pages with 160 of them devoted the top species of birds found in North America with beautiful illustrations and images and it is packed with information about those birds. The small size of the book makes it perfect for tucking into a backpack or as a handy reference book for carrying along in a vehicle.


The National Geographic Pocket Guides to Birds of North Americabook is now for sale at book stores, on the National Geographic web site, and

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Loggerhead Shrikes – They are MIA

Loggerhead Shrike portraitLoggerhead Shrike portrait – Nikon D300, f7.1, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 357mm, natural light

I’m used to seeing Loggerhead Shrikes all year round here in northern Utah but they have been MIA for quite some time. My last sighting was about two weeks ago of a single bird and before that it had been at least since late December or January since I saw one. Their absence might have been caused by the harsh winter we had combined with the heavy snow that would have reduced their opportunities to capture their prey which in the winter would consist of small rodents like voles.

Fluffed up Loggerhead ShrikeFluffed up Loggerhead Shrike - Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I’ve been waiting for them to show back up and to see them perched on top of Sagebrush or Rabbitbrush singing. It is difficult to think of them as a songbird because they act like tiny raptors at times but they are indeed songbirds. Take a listen here about halfway down the page.

I’ll be glad to see them again when they are no longer MIA.


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Loggerhead Shrike in Winter

Loggerhead ShrikeLoggerhead Shrike – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 400, +1.3 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

This Loggerhead Shrike was one of the few birds I photographed yesterday on Antelope Island before the Prairie Falcon with a Northern Shoveler as prey that I posted yesterday. The weather on the radar didn’t look bad before heading to the island in the morning but it was. Bad I mean. Snow fell heavily at times and the light was low, I could see Rough-legged and Red-tailed Hawks taking shelter in some of the distant trees. I didn’t see or hear Horned Larks or Chukars and they are birds I am used to seeing year round on the island.

When I spotted this Loggerhead Shrike perched on a bush along the road I thought that my images of it might be the only decent images I would bring home. The background of this image is composed of water at the bottom, the middle white layer is snow on a distant dike near the marina and the touch of blue at the top was actually a bit of blue sky that was visible to the north. I also liked the tiny water droplet under the bill of the shrike.


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