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Birds: The Shrike

[Titmouse]  [Golden Oriole]  [Shrike]  [Jay]  [Blue Jay]  [Magpie]  [Raven]  [Tame Raven]  [Rook]  [Canary]  [More Information About Birds] 

( Originally Published 1894 )

There are several species of Shrikes, the Thick-headed Shrike, the Great Shrike, and the Red-backed Shrike being among these. The Great Shrike belongs to both Europe and America. In appearance it resembles the Mocking Bird for which it is sometimes mistaken. It preys upon mice, frogs, birds, grasshoppers and large insects, killing and then impaling them upon thorns until such time as it chooses to eat them. Its rapacity has earned for it the name of "the Butcher Bird." According to Mr. Bell these birds are kept tame in the houses in Russia. One in his possession was furnished with a sharply pointed stick for a perch, on the end of which. it spitted any bird or animal it caught. The Shrike believes in a well filled larder, and does not proceed to eat his game until he has a goad stock. He is also known as the "Nine-killer" in America, from his supposed preference for spitting that number at a forage.

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