Photos by BarrytheBirder
Things went quiet this afternoon and all the small birds at the feeders disappeared. As I surveyed the scene I came the cross the bird pictured above: a Northern Shrike. It was the first one I had ever seen in the backyard. This one is an immature and and as it matures throughout its first spring, it will take on the much more striking white, black and grey colours of the adult. It made no sound and barely moved during the time it was in a cedar hedge. Despite the lack of small birds, Blue Jays, Grackles, Mourning Doves and Red-winged Blackbirds surrounded this silent stranger. It stayed about ten minutes and moved on to more favourable hunting perches. Meanwhile, (below) the first female Red-winged Blackbird of the spring showed up and immediately attracted a handful of males. She toyed with them as they stumbled and fumbled to get close without blocking her way to the seeds. She was in complete control and finally secured a feeder all to herself. So, the migrant birds are arriving. Now if only spring weather would arrive.
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