September 15, 2009
Now, the Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Bronx Zoo has brought the loggerhead shrike into its collection, but the shrike is there to illustrate more than its unique feeding practices.
The terrifying-at least for insects-loggerhead shrike. Photo by: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS.
Loggerhead shrike impales mouse on a branch. Photo by: Kathy Radomski, USFWS.
"The exhibit was intended to bring attention to an endangered species that is losing ground as a result of habitat changes," says Nancy Clum, Assistant Curator of Ornithology for the Wildlife Conservation Society. "Canada has a reintroduction program for this species and we are hopeful that there may eventually be a similar program on this side of the border."
Despite its fierce feeding practices, the loggerhead shrike doesn't look menacing: it’s an attractive little songbird with gray and black markings, including a black mask across its face. It possess incredible vision—it can focus on a grasshopper 45-64 meters (150-210 feet) away—which it uses as it watches for prey on a perch.
The Bronx Zoo has recreated the shrike's grassland habitat, including thorn bushes and a barbed wire fence, so the bird can continue to impale as it would in the wild.
Birdwatching contributes $36 billion annually to U.S. economy
(07/15/2009) One fifth of Americans are birdwatchers, according to a report released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Hawaii continues to stand-by as sheep destroy critically-endangered palila bird's habitat
(03/25/2009) The environmental legal organization, Earthjustice, has filed legal papers against the Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources for failing to keep feral sheep and goats out of the critically-endangered palila bird's last habitat. According to Earthjustice, the court has already issued three orders beginning in 1979 that found the state of Hawiai in violation of the Endangered Species Act by not protecting the palila bird from the destructive feeding practices of sheep and goats.
One third of US birds endangered
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