“Certain that the Spanish galleon was riding low in the water due to chests full of gold doubloons in her hold, the captain of the privateer kept his swift vessel hidden behind a mangrove island and waited for the time to strike. His crew was armed to the teeth and lusted for blood and treasure……”
Oh, wait. It’s not that kind of butcher.
Lanius ludovicianus. The Loggerhead Shrike. “Lanius” is Latin for butcher and shrike likely comes from the “shriek” the bird makes. Thus, the “Shrieking Butcher”, or more commonly, Butcher Bird. To further warrant the moniker, the shrike typically impales his prey (insects, small mammals) on a thorn, barbed wire of a fence or sharp branch to hold it while it “butchers” it for a meal.
This particular “butcher”, or Loggerhead Shrike, was actively hunting in an area on the south side of Tampa Bay known as Cockroach Bay. A reserve opened to the public here late last year and I’ll be reporting on it in the near future.
We found this predator on a late afternoon drive and I was able to get a few images of the hunt, capture, impaling and butchering process.
(NOTE: Some of the following images are graphic, but Nature can be really messy when you’re trying to survive.)
(Click the picture for larger images.)
Sorry for the misleading introduction! Life is so much more thrilling than fiction!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN !!
Enjoy your search for a natural place and come back for a visit.
See more birds at: Paying Ready Attention (Check out Wild Bird Wednesday.)