Pied Beauty

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Loggerhead Shrike

Recently Diana of Elephant's Eye blogged about the Fiscal Shrike and I was reminded to keep an eye out for own own small predator, the Loggerhead Shrike.

Loggerhead Shrike
Northern Mockingbird
He's such a handsome bird, with his trim black mask and black-edged wings.  If you see him from a little distance, he looks almost like our state bird, the Northern Mockingbird.  But the Northern Mockingbird is a sassy and fun-loving sort of fellow, and the Loggerhead Shrike is deadly serious.

Keeping a close eye out...
He uses his hooked beak to kill small birds and animals and often impales them on spikes or thorns for dining on later.  He must use this cruel method because he lacks the sharp talons raptors use to tear prey apart.

You can barely see the hooked beak.
Shrikes aren't common backyard birds around here, preferring the open woodlands or grasslands.  But if you keep an eye out, you can spot them easily enough.  Yikes for shrikes!

1 comment:

  1. Yours does look very similar to ours. It is the larder for later that I find hard to accept. They must have a huge territory. Having nipped in and I suppose caught a bird, ours have had to move on to new hunting grounds.