Saturday, 7 January 2017

Fiscal Shrike Fledgling - One of four

Camera : Canon EOS 550D
Taken in my garden (Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa)

My Fiscal Shrike (Lanius collaris) is rearing four babies this season and this little one, one of the four, was contentedly relaxing after a nice fat grasshopper. I also put out little pieces of minced meat on my bird feeder, which Mommy dutifully takes and feeds them. As they got bigger, they realised where the “kitchen” was and soon joined her at the feeder.

These mini raptors have a hooked beak that enables them to catch small animals and insects. They often impale their meals on thorns which explains the derivation of their name from the Latin word for butcher. They sit upright on the tops of shrubs and other conspicuous perches to spot their prey and also to advertise their presence to competitors. Endemic to Southern Africa.

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