Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Centrial Island, Port Alberni, Tofino, North Island
By KenW
Saw this shrike yesterday in Pitt Meadows. I assumed, and identified it as a Northern shrike. I friend mentioned that there had been supposed sightings of loggerhead shrikes locally ( don't see anything on E-Bird tho) The Merlin photo ID app identifies my photo as loggerhead.

Looking at descriptors of both birds and now I'm not sure. Ideas, comments


By revs
I think the amount of barring on breast indicates Northern Shrike, from what i read Loggerhead would have much fainter barring, hope that helps (i think it was correctly id'd on one of the Yahoo message boards as well).
By KenW
Thx Paul, yup I was leaning towards a Northern from the get go. Then these supposed sightings of Loggerheads locally and the merlin ID app got me thinking hmmm

Interesting too how the Merlin ID app comes up with Loggerhead shrike, Northern mockingbird and Townsends solitaire

Just goes to show technology isn't infallible
Merlin shouldn’t really come up with Loggerhead Shrike for anywhere in British Columbia. In a given year there is usually only one or two records for the entire province. When Loggerheads do show up, it is often in spring or summer and usually somewhere in the interior. In the last few years, however, there have been records at the Hope Airport and the Hope Slide.

I would recommend not putting too much faith in technology and do a little bit of old fashion ID with a field guide. One obvious feature seen in the photo that shows the back of the shrike is the whitish rump. This is a good feature for Northern Shrike and should be indicated as something to look for in a good field guide.

Good birding,
Jeremy Gatten
Saanichton, BC
By KenW
Jeremy, thank you for your input. In my original post, I had ID'd it as a Northern, but it was technology that got me thinking " hmm I wonder, not likely Loggerhead but..."
Yup I had checked on E bird and saw the sighting this past May and back in 2015 around Hope

I guess as a beginning birder I don't have the confidence of more experienced birders to make a quick definitive ID

I suppose also, my error was not in listing the "old fashioned ID with a field guide" I had done. Maybe I am just using the wrong guides.
• Audubon doesn't mention a whitish patch for either species
• Peterson doesn't mention white patches on wings or rump at all for the Northern but does mention white wing patches for the Loggerhead
* Stokes ( p 484-485) only mentions white as part of the flight description. "White base of primaries create distinct patch above and below" Exactly the same wording for both species.
not one photo in there showing a white rump patch.
• Cornells website only mentions white wing patches for the Northern and for the Loggerhead is says "The tail is black with white corners; the wings are black with white at the base of the primaries that form a small “handkerchief” spot when the wing is closed "

Hence, the little doubts that crept in to my ID
All that being said, thanks for the heads up about the white rump patch. I guess real life observations will tend to be more accurate than a guide

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