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October 14, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Shrike, eagle, & many sparrows

I joined Allen Larner and several other members of the Augusta Bird Club this chilly morning for a field trip to Swoope and Augusta Springs, in the western foothills of the county. About 55 species were seen altogether, of which the most noteworthy were a Loggerhead shrike * and a Bald eagle. With the bright sun behind us, we had excellent views. We found most of the migratory sparrows that were the main target of the trip, and I saw eight species for the first time this season or year. In a couple cases, I hadn't seen those birds in at least two years. Today's highlights:

* Shrikes are medium-small songbirds that subsist entirely on the flesh of small animals and insects, much like raptors. They have no talons (sharp claws) with which to impale and kill their prey, so they use thorns or barbed wire for that purpose, often "storing" uneaten food. That's why they are called "butcher birds."

Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 14 Oct 2006, 9: 29 PM

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Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.


The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:

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