During the last few days of my visit (September 28) a juvenile Northern Shrike took up residence behind our accommodations. I was about to wonder what it would fnd to eat when it came up from the grass with a huge lemming in its bill:
It took it to the ground and proceeded to feed on it hungrily, until flying back up onto the fallen fence to show-off its trophy:- the lemming's head:
Within a couple of days it had found the perfect impalement "post":- a thick cable with a frayed end,and seemed adept at catching lemmings. Here it is working another (smaller) lemming onto the post in order to tear of bits to eat:
A few North American passerines started to show up (juncos, American Robin) plus this hapless Harris' Sparrow that we only found after the shrike had dispatched it:
- this species is rare in Alaska, so I stepped in and took the remains to bag as a specimen for UAF - the shrike flew away a few yards and shrieked its disgust at me.