Date: 9/12/17 5:07 pm
From: Frank Enders (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Loggerhead Shrike back along Mid-Pines Rd., south of Raleigh
For 2-3 weeks, I have not encountered any of the several pairs of shrikes which nest between me and Roanoke Rapids. (Young were raised.)

While the probability of seeing a shrike between sightings (when bird is present before and after the drive-by) often is as low as 0.2, I have been driving back and forth too much for any conclusion other than that these birds have moved on.
These local birds may show up later in fall (some winter), but how do we know the winter birds here are birds which breed here? I "dunno" without marking the individuals in some way.
If "my" birds have moved on, as they seem to have, your Raleigh bird may also be a migrant (or local mover). It would seem that a bird which regularly sits on powerlines, like, say Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (or, here, shrike) should be highly visible, if present, but I have seen this species just not be "present", when it is at a spot both before and after the apparent absence. Just a mystery.

Wait a while, and a shrike will show up (on my way to and from town) to prove me a liar, but it is so hard to understand why this species is irregular in being detected. They do use woods edges and cutovers, and I always wonder if (and WHY) they might be there instead of at the roadsides where we are accustomed to encounter them. Maybe something about prey availability,

I used to think local shrikes showed up (arrived? came out of the woodwork to set up at roadside breeding locations?) around late February, but then there are years they are here later. Just hard to tell for this species. And most.
Even gamebird populations are not understood, no good predictions based on anything other than counting birds just before the "prediction", i.e., just extending a trendline of abundance with simply no or completely speculative real data reflecting the key factors influencing abundance of species.

SUMMARY: I do not know what is going on (either).

Frank Enders, Halifax, NC

From: <carolinabirds-request...> <carolinabirds-request...> on behalf of Harry LeGrand <carolinabirds...>
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:33 PM
To: carolinabirds listserve; Harry LeGrand
Subject: Loggerhead Shrike back along Mid-Pines Rd., south of Raleigh

Loggerhead Shrikes nested at the N.C. State U. farm fields up until a year or two ago, but not this year. The last report along this road appears to have been on March 24 of this year, on eBird; and the last along nearby Inwood Road was April 29 of this year. One did overwinter along Inwood Road.

So, this afternoon I was glad to see one, an apparent adult, along Mid-Pines just east of the creek that flows into Yates Pond. I will assume it must have bred somewhere fairly close by -- it seems a bit early for a true migrant, but tons of people bird this general area each week, and the species seemed to have disappeared this summer.

I do see a shrike now and then in SE and E Wake County in recent years, and I suspect a few still breed in these more rural parts of the county. But, shrikes have almost disappeared as breeders in the Triangle now, despite some good habitat in some places.

Harry LeGrand

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