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Loggerhead Shrike Steals Shot Sparrow

Ned K. Johnston
Publication Information
Journal: 
Condor
Volume: 
51
Issue: 
5 (September-October)
Section: 
From Field and Study
Year: 
1949
Pages: 
233

Loggerhead Shrike Steals Shot Sparrow.-In early May, 1948, my brother and I were collecting birds at a small marshy pond in a grassy field about four and one-half miles southeast of Reno, Nevada. A Savannah Sparrow (Passer&us sun&e&hens&) flew up to a fence post about forty feet from where we stood. My brother shot the bird. The second it hit the ground, we ran to pick it up but were amazed to see a Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) seize our bird and carry it away. The shrike carried the sparrow with laborious strokes of its wings and flew to a spot in a large field of sagebrush about fifty yards away. Because the prey was comparatively heavy, the shrike flew low over the ground. It seems incredible but we could not locate either the sbrike or the sparrow after searching the area for at least a half hour.-NED K. JOHNSON, Reno, Nevada, February 13, 1949. 

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