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Some Items in the Diet of California Shrikes

Kate Stephens
Publication Information
Journal: 
Condor
Volume: 
8
Issue: 
5 (September-October)
Section: 
From Field and Study
Year: 
1906
Pages: 
130

Some Items in the Diet of California Shrikes

For the last two or three years a pair of California shrikes (Lanius l. gambeli) have inhabited the eucalyptus trees growing in our yard. In the yard are also two large century plants. The thorns on these century plants are favorite shambles of the shrikes. Some of the food items observed sticking on the thorns are: Lizards of several species including “horned toads” (Phrynomosa), scorpions, centipedes, Jerusalem crickets, beetles, young quail, adult and young horned larks, a meadow mouse, and young pocket rats. The heads of the mice and rats were eaten first; but the heads of the horned toads were usually allowed to remain on the thorns. The shrikes do not appear to care for the lizards as they are usually allowed to remain and dry on the thorns. I have broods of young chickens running about the place, including one brood without a mother. None of these have been molested by the shrikes.

KATE STEPHENS

San Diego, California

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