Manitoba Bird Bird Atlas: Species At Risk

Loggerhead Shrike

Early Breeding and Last Migration Dates

South: Regions 1 to 8 Central: Regions 9 to 12 North: Regions 13 and 14
Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding
May-11 May-21? Jul-25

Breeding Evidence

Shrike nests in grasslands are usually 1 to 3 meters above the ground in scattered, grazed willow shrubs. In willow-lined lowlands, the nests are also at 1 to 3 meters, but are found in more densely clumped stands of willow. Nests in shelter belts are usually higher up in trees, but occasionally they are in the caragana understory or in small conifers.

From year to year, nesting territories are often reused, but usually by different adults.


Breeding Evidence Map

In has long been held that both the Western Loggerhead Shrikes (excubitorides subspecies, listed as Threatened) and Eastern Loggerhead Shrikes (migrans subspecies, listed as Endangered) occur in Manitoba, the latter in the greater Winnipeg area. Recent evidence suggests that the Winnipeg subpopulation may be subspecies intergrades. The Winnipeg subpopulation is possibly already extirpated (last documented breeding attempt in 209) or at best hanging on by a thread.

Western Loggerhead Shrikes inhabit a wide variety of open habitats, including grasslands, sagebrush stands, pastures, agricultural areas, and thinly wooded areas with small trees and shrubs where it can nest and forage. They have a preference for small bushy trees and dense or thorny bushes. However, their habitat choices are still poorly understood, as many apparently suitable sites are left unused.

Eastern Loggerhead Shrikes inhabit open ranges with occasional trees and shrubs that provide nesting sites and perches from which to hunt. They use grazing areas where the grass is short: grazing animals prevent the growth of too many trees and shrubs in these areas, which creates good feeding sites. The presence of more grazing sites is typically associated with a greater abundance of Loggerhead Shrikes. The size of the habitat area is also important, because larger spaces allow the birds to avoid nesting too close to fences. This leads to greater breeding success, which may be due to the fact that predators use the fences.

In Manitoba, Loggerhead Shrikes can be found:

  1. in grasslands interspersed with willows from west of Lyleton to Broomhill;
  2. in hedgerows and shelter belts adjacent to croplands north and east of Lyleton;
  3. in willow-lined lowlands near croplands from Pierson to Reston; and
  4. occasionally in grassland areas near Neepawa and Dauphin.

-from COSEWIC and The Birds of Manitoba (p. 263)