Overview

Brief Summary

Lanius ludovicianus

A medium-sized (9 inches) shrike, the Loggerhead Shrike is most easily identified by its gray body, dark wings, and large hooked bill. Other field marks include a black tail with white edges, a black eye-stripe, and white “wrists” visible on the underside of the wings. This species may be separated from the Northern Shrike (Lanius excubitor) by the latter species’ faintly barred breast and from the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) by that species’ large white wing patches. Male and female Loggerhead Shrikes are similar to one another in all seasons. The Loggerhead Shrike breeds across the southern and southwestern United States as well as the Great Plains and locally in the Great Lakes region. Breeding populations also exist at higher elevations in northern and central Mexico. Northern Loggerhead Shrike populations are migratory, moving south in winter as far as Mexico. Loggerhead Shrikes inhabit a variety of open habitats, including grasslands, agricultural fields, and deserts. This species utilizes similar habitats in winter as in summer, especially those populations which are non-migratory. Loggerhead Shrikes eat a variety of small animals, including insects, small mammals, and birds. Loggerhead Shrikes are most easily observed perching in prominent areas, such as on bare branches, while watching for prey. This species impales its prey on thorns or barbed wire, and birdwatchers who stumble across one of these “larders” would likely find a Loggerhead Shrike nearby. This species is primarily active during the day.

Threat Status: Least Concern

  • Lanius ludovicianus. Xeno-canto. Xeno-canto Foundation, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012. .
  • Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus). The Internet Bird Collection. Lynx Edicions, n.d. Web. 20 July 2012. .
  • Peterson, Roger Tory. Birds of Eastern and Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980. Print.
  • Yosef, Reuven. 1996. Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/231
  • eBird Range Map - Loggerhead Shrike. eBird. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, N.d. Web. 20 July 2012. .
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Comprehensive Description

Comprehensive Description for Lanius ludovicianus (Loggerhead Shrike)

The Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), the only member of the Family Laniidae, is a predatory songbird of North America. It is slightly smaller than a robin, weighing 1.2-1.8 g at birth, to 35-50 g at maturity. There are 11 subspecies in North America, with 3 located in Canada. Loggerhead Shrikes in northern regions migrate south (Hobson & Wassenaar 2001), while birds residing in the lower United States and Mexico remain in place for the winter. Two subspecies, L.l. mearnsi and L.l. anthonyi are island birds residing on the Channel Islands of California, with the former listed as endangered and the latter listed as special concern (ECOS 2013). As a species, with a global breeding population of 5.8 million (PIF 2012), Lanius ludovicianus is identified of Least Concern by the IUCN, although their populations decreased 3.2% per year from 1966-2010 (CLO 2015).

The subspecies of Loggerhead Shrike are similar in appearance, with a notable black mask across the beak and eyes.  These birds show no sexual dimorphism. They are gray bodied with white underbellies, and have black wings and tail that contain white patches.  Their wingspan is 28-32 cm and length of 20-23 cm. Their larger heads give them their common name “loggerhead” which translates to “blockhead”, but is their toothed beaks and keen eyesight that give them their predatory identity. Unlike most predatory birds, however, they do not have talons.

Loggerhead Shrikes are found in the open areas of grassland and low shrubbery of Lower Canada, U.S., and Mexico. They spend most of their time hunting, both for food purposes and mating. They perch where they can observe their prey, but also where there they can impale their prey, such as thorny shrubs and barbed wire, as their claws are not strong enough to hold the victim. Stock piling their kill is often used to attract a mate. They feed on insects, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, and small birds.

In addition to small stockpiles of food, Loggerhead Shrikes also perform short flights of display to attract a partner. Together, male and female build a nest out of twigs, bark, and dried grasses in shrubs or trees in open areas. Their clutch of 4-8 eggs, “grayish white to pale bluff, with spots of brown and gray often concentrated at large end” (AFG 2001) is incubated by the female while the male supplies her with food. Chicks hatch naked and blind, taking take flight between 17-21 days, and remain with parents for an additional 3-4 week. The longest recorded lifespan for a Loggerhead Shrike was 12.5 years (Klimkiewicz, et al. 1983).

The Loggerhead Shrike has long been considered an indicator species, and is often found near areas of agriculture (Yosef 1994). It is unknown why their numbers are decreasing, although habitat loss, predation, and pesticides are commonly addressed (Boal et al. 2003). In 2014 they were listed as a Common Bird in Steep Decline (Parmley 2015). Of research interest, island subsubspecies.  L.l.  mearnsi located on San Clemente Island is endangered according to the U.S. Endangered Species Act and IUCN. Although Loggerhead Shrikes high reproductive rate makes them more likely to rebound, this subspecies population is threatened by one of its natural predators, the island fox (Urocyon littoralis), which is also an endangered species (Roemer & Wayne 2003).

  • AFG (The Audubon Field Guide). 2015. Guide to North American Birds. Adapted from Lives of North American Birds. Kaufman, K. 2001.
  • Boal, C. W., Estabrook,T.S., and Duerr, A.E. 2003. Productivity of Loggerhead Shrikes nesting in an urban interface. The Southwestern Naturalist, 48(4): 557-562.
  • Brooks, B. L., and Temple, S. A. 1990. Habitat availability and suitability for Loggerhead Shrikes in the Upper Midwest. American Midland Naturalist, 123(1), 75–83.
  • CLO (The Cornell Lab of Ornithology). 2015. Loggerhead Shrike life history. From All About Birds.
  • Caballero, I.C. and Ashley, M.V.. 2011. Genetic analysis of the endemic island Loggerhead Shrike, Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi. Conservation Genetics 12:1485–1493
  • Cade, T. J. and Woods, C. P. 1997. Changes in distribution and abundance of the Loggerhead Shrike. Conservation Biology 11: 21–31.
  • Craig, R. B. 1978. An analysis of the predatory behavior of the Loggerhead Shrike. The Auk, 95(2): 221–234.
  • ECOS (Environmental Conservation Online System). 2013. Species profile for San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi). From: Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Initiation of 5-Year Reviews of 56 Species in California and Nevada.
  • Hobson, K.A and Wassenaar, L.I. 2001. Isotopic delineation of North American migratory wildlife populations: Loggerhead Shrikes. Ecological Applications 11:1545–1553.
  • Klimkiewicz, M. K., Clapp, R. B., and Futcher, A. G. 1983. Longevity records of North American birds: Remizidae through Parulinae. Journal of Field Ornithology, 54(3), 287–294.
  • Mundy, N.I., Winchell, C., Burr, T., and Woodruff, D.S. 1997. Microsatellite variation and microevolution in the critically endangered San Clemente Island Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus mearnsi). Proceedings B, 264 (1383), 869-875.
  • PIF (Partners in Flight Science Committee). 2012. Species assessment database. Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.
  • Parmley, E. J., Pear D.L., Vogt N.A., Yates, S., Campbell, G.D., Steiner, J., Imlay, T.L, Hollamby, S., Tuininga, K., and Barker, I.K. 2015. Factors influencing mortality in a captive breeding population of Loggerhead Shrike, Eastern subspecies (Lanius ludovicianus ssp.) in Canada. BMC Veterinary Research, 11:129
  • Pruitt, L. 2000. Report to United States Fish and Wildlife Service: Loggerhead Shrike status assessment. Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Roemer, G.W. and Wayne, R.K. 2003. Conservation in conflict: the tale of two endangered species. Conservation Biology. 17 (5): 1251-1260
  • The Canadian Wildlife Federation. 2015. Hinterland’s Who’s Who. Loggerhead Shrike. Web. 15 Nov. 2015
  • Yosef, R. 1992. Territoriality, nutritional condition, and conservation in loggerhead shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus). Ph.D. dissertation, Ohio State Univ., Columbus.
  • Yosef, R. 1994. The effects of fencelines on the reproductive success of Loggerhead Shrikes. Conservation Biology: 281-285.
  • Yosef, R. 1996. Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus). In The Birds of North America, No. 231 (A. Poole and F. Gill, editors). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.
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Distribution

Prominent in many parts of central Canada, border states of Canada, and in the Greater Midwest of the United States. During its spring / summer migration, however, it can sometimes be seen as far south and west as California though in ever decreasing numbers. For example, its predicted range of migration to and from the state of Indiana is: Arrival from March 15 to 25, and Return from about November 1 to 15.

There are some exceptions to the Shrike's migration, such as its noted presence in the well-suited Florida environment. Thus, habitat and environment are more important in determining migratory patterns for this species than the standard geographic range, especially as suitable hunting grounds become increasingly scarce.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Breeding

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: California, eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, and central Alberta eastward across southern Canada to southwestern New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and south to southern Baja California, throughout Mexico to Oaxaca and Veracruz,the Gulf Coast, and southern Florida (AOU 1983). Recently has been disappearing from the northeastern portion of the breeding range. In the northeastern U.S., breeds in in western Maryland, extreme eastern West Virginia, and Virginia (perhaps several dozen pairs); extirpated elsewhere (Bartgis 1992, R. W. MacDonald pers. comm.). NON-BREEDING: central Washington, eastern Oregon, California, southern Nevada, northern Arizona, northern New Mexico, and (east of the Rockies) the southern half of breeding range south to the Gulf Coast, southern Florida, and Mexico (AOU 1983).

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Geographic Range

Prominent in many parts of central Canada, border states of Canada, and in the Greater Midwest of the United States. During its spring / summer migration, however, it can sometimes be seen as far south and west as California though in ever decreasing numbers. For example, its predicted range of migration to and from the state of Indiana is: Arrival from March 15 to 25, and Return from about November 1 to 15.

There are some exceptions to the Shrike's migration, such as its noted presence in the well-suited Florida environment. Thus, habitat and environment are more important in determining migratory patterns for this species than the standard geographic range, especially as suitable hunting grounds become increasingly scarce.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

This shrike is a medium-sized passerine. As with many song birds, the Loggerhead Shrike has several different colors whose arrangement is considered important in attracting a mate (along with displayed hunting prowess). The shrike's greyish back and black wings are evident against its white breast and other body areas. Most prominent, however, is the Loggerhead's black mask which extends around the eyes and down into the forehead. This shrike also has a slightly hooked beak somewhat similar to that of a falcon's beak which is used for impaling its prey, though unlike many birds of prey lacks talong or claws.

It is eight to ten inches long and has a wing span of approximately 12 inches, making it about the size of an average robin.

The male and female of the species are similar in appearance.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average mass: 46 g.

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Physical Description

This shrike is a medium-sized passerine. As with many song birds, the Loggerhead Shrike has several different colors whose arrangement is considered important in attracting a mate (along with displayed hunting prowess). The shrike's greyish back and black wings are evident against its white breast and other body areas. Most prominent, however, is the Loggerhead's black mask which extends around the eyes and down into the forehead. This shrike also has a slightly hooked beak somewhat similar to that of a falcon's beak which is used for impaling its prey, though unlike many birds of prey lacks talong or claws.

It is eight to ten inches long and has a wing span of approximately 12 inches, making it about the size of an average robin.

The male and female of the species are similar in appearance.

Average mass: 46 g.

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Size

Length: 23 cm

Weight: 47 grams

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Diagnostic Description

Differs from northern shrike (LANIUS EXCUBITOR) in having the base of the lower mandible black instead of pale, unbarred or barely barred underparts (adults), a shorter and less hooked bill, a darker head and back, and a more extensive black mask. Differs from the northern mockingbird (MIMUS POLYGLOTTOS) in having a black mask and a shorter, less curved bill.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Except when nesting, both sexes of the species will prefer to spend most of their time in open places hiding in order to search for prey and surprise it. Thus, the Loggerhead will prefer a country field bordered with trees or replete with brush / thickets to almost any other.

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland

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Comments: BREEDING: Open country with scattered trees and shrubs, savanna, desert scrub (southwestern U.S.), and, occasionally, open woodland; often perches on poles, wires or fenceposts (Tropical to Temperate zones) (AOU 1983). Suitable hunting perches are an important part of the habitat (Yosef and Grubb 1994).

For nesting, prefers shortgrass pastures in western Canada, Texas (Telfer 1992), and many other areas (Luukkonen 1987, Novak 1989, Gawlik and Bildstein 1990, Bartgis 1992). In Missouri, pasture land surrounded 67% of 60 nests (Kridelbaugh 1982). In New York, occupied nest sites were in pasture areas with less than 20% woody cover (Novak 1989). However, others have found no preference for short-grass areas (e.g., see Chavez-Ramirez et al. 1994). Historically, orchards seemingly were used with some frequency (see Novak 1989). In the upper Midwest, Brooks (1988) found that nestling growth rate, nesting success, and fledgling success were positively correlated with percentage of home range coverage in grassland. In Virginia, pairs nesting in active pastures produced twice as many young as did those in other habitats (Luukkonen 1987).

Nests in shrubs or small trees (deciduous or coniferous, e.g., in eastern North America, JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA, CRATAEGUS sp., MACLURA POMIFERA, ROSA MULTIFLORA). In northern latitudes, nest sites include spruce and fir trees (Bent 1950, Brooks 1988). In some areas, vine-covered plants are preferred (Luukkonen 1987, Novak 1989). In Missouri, nests in multiflora rose were less successful than were those in trees, perhaps because the nests in roses were lower and poorly supported (Kridelbaugh 1982). In South Carolina, nests in JUNIPERUS fledged a larger number of young than did nests in other sites (5.0 young per successful nest vs. 4.0) (Gawlik and Bildstein 1990). Nests generally are 1.5-3 m above ground, in a crotch or on top of an old nest. In New York, nests were typically 1.5-2.5 m high in trees 4-5 m tall, and usually they were more than a meter back from the outside of the tree (Novak 1989). In Virginia, average nest height was 2.6 m in trees averaging 6.8 m tall; nest height was higher (mean 5.5 m) in second and third nesting attempts (Luukkonen 1987). Nests often in isolated woody plants but also commonly along fencelines or hedgerows (Brooks 1988, Luukkonen 1987), in an open area in a wooded area or in open country. Tends to nest in areas with several potential suitable nesting trees/shrubs (Brooks 1988).

Sometimes nests in the same site in successive years, but return rates generally are low; males are most likely to reoccupy previous breeding territories (Kridelbaugh 1982, Luukkonen 1987, Brooks 1988, Bartgis 1989, Haas and Sloane 1989). In Minnesota and Virginia, respectively, 50% and 30% of breeding territories were not occupied the following year; in Virginia, reoccupation was more frequent in active pasture than in pastures allowed to grow tall (Brooks 1988, Luukonen 1987). Causes of variation in rates of territory reoccupancy have been discussed but available evidence is inconclusive and may differ in different areas (cf. Brooks 1988, Luukkonen 1987, Novak 1989, Haas and Sloane 1989). For a particular pair during a single season, nesting attempts after the first one generally are close to the first site (mean 90 m in Virginia) (Luukkonen 1987). Both sexes are involved in nest site selection and nest construction (Kridelbaugh 1982).

NON-BREEDING: During periods of cold with snow cover, sometimes moves into woodlots (Byrd and Johnston 1991). In winter in Virginia, many move from pastures to shrub and open forest habitats during periods of cold, wet weather (Blumton et al. 1989).

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Except when nesting, both sexes of the species will prefer to spend most of their time in open places hiding in order to search for prey and surprise it. Thus, the Loggerhead will prefer a country field bordered with trees or replete with brush / thickets to almost any other.

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Withdraws southward from northern half of breeding range for winter. Banding returns indicate that birds from as far north as Alberta and Quebec winter from southern Kansas, Missouri, and Virginia south to Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas (Fruth 1988). Shrikes in Wisconsin begin moving south in August. In Oklahoma and Missouri, begins to arrive and set up breeding teritories in mid-February (Tyler 1992). Returns to nesting areas in New York in mid- to late April (Novak 1989). Shrikes breeding in the Virginias and Maryland frequently are resident, but there appears to be some southward movement. Shrikes that formerly bred in New England apparently followed a predominantly coastal migration route (Milburn 1981). Nonmigratory in much of California, especially in southern and central coastal regions (Matthews and Moseley 1990).

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Trophic Strategy

Loggerhead shrikes are the only known predatory songbird. They prey on both vertebrate and invertebrate animals, but due to their lack of talons or claws they must impale their prey. Impaling is done with the slightly hooked beak, often against either a tree or into barbed wire. While its diet consists mostly of mice, it will also eat insects, small amphibians, and even small birds.

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Comments: Feeds primarily on large insects (especially beetles and orthopterans), also other invertebrates, small birds, lizards, frogs, and rodents; sometimes scavenges (Fraser and Luukkonen 1986). Diet varies with season and location; in parts of the range, most of the food eaten in winter may be vertebrates, which comprise only a small part of the diet in California. In California, the summer diet comprises mainly insects (Terres 1980). Captures prey usually via a short flight from a perch; sometimes hovers kestrel-like or walks when foraging (Bent 1950, Luukkonen 1987). Sometimes impales food items on a plant thorn or on barbed wire (Fraser and Luukkonen 1986); such items may be eaten later or fed to young (Applegate 1977).

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Food Habits

Loggerhead shrikes are the only known predatory songbird. They prey on both vertebrate and invertebrate animals, but due to their lack of talons or claws they must impale their prey. Impaling is done with the slightly hooked beak, often against either a tree or into barbed wire. While its diet consists mostly of mice, it will also eat insects, small amphibians, and even small birds.

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Associations

Known prey organisms

Lanius ludovicianus preys on:
Auriparus flaviceps

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

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Global Abundance

2500 to >1,000,000 individuals

Comments: See trend comments for information for particular states.

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General Ecology

Territorial throughout the year. Size of territory may be about 10-16 ha in semidesert. In Florida, territory size varied from about 0.7 ha to 18 ha (Yosef and Grubb 1994). In New York, successful nesting pairs foraged over an area of 5.7-9.3 ha; the smallest area of active pasture in the nesting territory was about 5.5 ha (Novak 1989). Miller (1931) reported nesting territories of 4.4 to 16 ha. Kridelbaugh (1982) reported an average territory size of 4.6 ha in Missouri, with territory size increasing significantly after fledging. In Minnesota during the nesting season, shrikes foraged up to a quarter mile away from the nest (Brooks 1988). In general, nesting territories are smaller in areas with a greater amount of good quality habitat (Kridelbaugh 1982). In Virginia, juveniles established 2 ha to 36 ha (mean 19 ha) fall and winter territories, although use of woody habitats in inclement weather significantly enlarged the home range (Blumton et al. 1989). In Virginia, winter home ranges averaged 52 ha (Blumton et al. 1989).

Breeding and winter territories may or may not be separate. Males and females defend separate territories during the nonbreeding season.

In Virginia, juveniles 10-13 weeks old moved an average of 5.5 km from parents' territory to fall territory; predation by hawks and owls accounted for most fall and winter mortality, with the heaviest mortality in January when temperatures were coldest (Blumton et al. 1989). Suspected nest and fledgling predators in the northeastern North America include black rat snake (ELAPHE OBSOLETA), blue jay (CYANOCITTA CRISTATA), sharp-shinned hawk (ACCIPITER STRIATUS), domestic cat, and house wren (TROGLODYTES AEDON) (Luukkonen 1987, Novak 1989).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
150 months.

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Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
150 months.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 12.5 years (wild)
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Reproduction

During its April to July breeding season, the male Loggerhead will often kill prey it does not otherwise need in order to display its power. This will hopefully attract a female who seeks a dominant male who is capable of providing food for itself and the offspring.

As for the offspring themselves, nests for eggs are always built in trees, usually about 8 to 15 feet above the ground. The nests are cup-shaped, and house approximately four to seven dull white to light grey spotted eggs.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; oviparous

Average time to hatching: 11 days.

Average eggs per season: 5.

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Male courtship behavior involves singing, flashing of white wing and tail markings, zigzagging flights and occasional chases of the female, and feeding of the female (Miller 1931, Bent 1950, Kridelbaugh 1982). Primarily monogamous, but polygny known (Yosef 1992, 1996). In Oklahoma, completed nests were found from mid-March through late June; nesting peaked in mid-April, with second nestings from late May to late June (Tyler 1992). In Missouri and Illinois, nesting peaked in late April, with a second peak in late May in Missouri (Tyler 1992). In Maryland, second nesting attempts occurred in June and July (Bartgis 1992). In Virginia, egg-laying extended from early April to mid-June (Byrd and Johnston 1991). Egg laying began in Colorado in early May. Egg dates for California and Florida are mainly February-July, March-June in Arizona and Texas. Single eggs are laid at intervals of one day. Clutch size usually averages 4-6. Incubation usually lasts 16-18 days (Lukkonen 1987, Tyler 1992), probably begins with the laying of the penultimate egg. Male feeds female during incubation. Young tended by both adults, fledge in about 17-20 days, independent in 36 days. Young generally stay concealed in foliage during the first few days out of the nest. About two weeks after leaving the nest, fledglings begins to capture food for themselves; they contunue to be fed by adults for about two more weeks (Luukkonen 1987, Novak 1989). By this time, adults and young begin foraging in areas away from the nesting territory (Novak 1989). In New York, family groups began to break up and disperse in August (Novak 1989). Renesting after nest failure is frequent in the Virginias and Maryland (Luukkonen 1987, Davidson 1988; Bartgis, pers. comm.), but second nesting attempts may be less common in the northern part of the range (Brooks and Temple 1986, Fruth 1988, Novak 1989). A third nesting attempt, usually unsuccessful, may follow an unsuccessful second nesting. Sometimes female leaves fledglings in care of male (Kridelbaugh 1982, Novak 1989); female may renest elsewhere with another male (Novak 1989, Haas and Sloane 1989).

Probability of survival from start of incubation to fledging ranged from 43% to 72% in several studies in different areas (see Tyler 1992). Nesting success tends to be fairly high (range was 50-74% in several studies in the eastern U.S.); generally at least 60% of nesting attempts fledge at least one young (Luukkonen 1987, Brooks 1988, Blumton et al. 1989, Novak 1989, Gawlik and Bildstein 1990, Bartgis 1992). Average number of young fledged per successful nest was 2.6, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.7 in Virginia, New York, Virginia, and South Carolina, respectively (Blumton et al. 1989, Novak 1989, Luukkonen 1987, and Gawlik and Bildstein 1990, respectively). Nest failure was attributed to cold wet weather and predation in New York (Novak 1989) and to predation, abandonment, and inadequate support of nests in Virginia (Luukkonen 1987). Nesting success tends to be better with dry, warm conditions than during cool, wet periods (Kridelbaugh 1982).

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During its April to July breeding season, the male Loggerhead will often kill prey it does not otherwise need in order to display its power. This will hopefully attract a female who seeks a dominant male who is capable of providing food for itself and the offspring.

As for the offspring themselves, nests for eggs are always built in trees, usually about 8 to 15 feet above the ground. The nests are cup-shaped, and house approximately four to seven dull white to light grey spotted eggs.

Average time to hatching: 11 days.

Average eggs per season: 5.

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Source: BioKIDS Critter Catalog

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Lanius ludovicianus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 7 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNTNNNTACCGCCCTAAGTCTCCTTATTCGAGCAGAACTAGGACAACCTGGTGCTCTTCTAGGAGACGATCAAATCTACAATGTAATTGTTACAGCTCATGCTTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTCATAGTTATACCTATTATAATTGGAGGGTTTGGAAACTGATTAGTCCCACTAATAATCGGTGCCCCAGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAATAACATAAGTTTCTGACTTCTACCTCCATCATTTCTCCTCCTACTAGCCTCTTCAACAGTAGAAGCAGGAGCAGGAACAGGATGAACTGTGTACCCACCACTAGCCGGCAACCTAGCTCATGCCGGAGCCTCAGTCGACCTAGCCATCTTTTCACTACACCTGGCAGGTATCTCATCAATCCTAGGAGCAATCAACTTTATCACAACAGCAATTAACATAAAACCTCCTGCCCTATCACAATACCAAACCCCACTATTTGTATGATCAGTGTTAATTACCGCAGTGTTACTACTTCTTTCCCTACCAGTACTTGCCGCTGGAATCACTATACTCCTTACAGACCGTAACCTAAACACCACATTTTTCGACCCAGCAGGAGGAGGAGATCCAGTACTATATCAACATCTATTCTGATTCTTCGGCCACCCAGAAGTATACATCTTAATTCTG
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lanius ludovicianus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 8
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

History
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
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