Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Unknown Photographer
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The loggerhead shrike, Lanius ludovicianus, breeds in southern Canada, much of the United States, and much of Mexico. It winters in the western, central, and southeastern United States, as well as in Mexico. The species is a common year-round resident of Utah, where it prefers grasslands, pastures, desert scrub habitats, open woodlands, and other open areas.

Loggerhead shrikes typically nest in thick brush, shrubs, or small trees in open areas. Females lay four to six eggs in early to late spring. The female then incubates the eggs for about sixteen days, during which time she is fed by the male. The young are tended by both adults, and become independent in just over a month. The diet of the loggerhead shrike is composed of insects, small mammals, birds, and reptiles. Individuals often hunt by sitting on a perch and waiting for prey items to come into view.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Peterson, R. T., and V. M. Peterson. 1990. A field guide to western birds, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. 432 pp.