Copyright Marek Szczepanek.

In fact, the Shrikes (the Loggerhead Shrike, as well as the Northern) are the world's only true carnivorous songbirds. They feed on small birds, shrews, rodents, large insects, and the occasional reptile. The Shrike swoops down on its prey from a perch or chases it through the air. It knocks the prey out of the air with a blow from its bill or catches it with its feet. Once on the ground, the Shrike kills the animal with bites with its sharp, hook-like bill.

The Northern Shrike is nick-named the "Butcher Bird." It has a habit of impaling its kill on thorns or barbs. If the bird is hungry, it will eat the kill; if not, the kill is effectively stored this way until needed.

In Pennsylvania, the Northern Shrike is a winter migratory visitor from November through March. It nests and breeds from Alaska across Northern Canada as far north as the tree line.