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9787Loggerhead Shrike on Pumphouse Road today

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  • Jeff Kozma
    Jan 28, 2014
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      Today, while birding my Old Goldendale route on my lunch hour, I spotted a shrike along Pumphouse Road just a bit east of Old Goldendale Road as it flew across Pumphouse Rd. and landed on a sagebrush.  At first I assumed a Northern Shrike based on time of year, but the general overall appearance of the bird didn’t fit as I looked at it through my binoculars from about 30 m away.  This shrike looked relatively smallish, not large, long-tailed and imposing like a Northern.  The black mask was very black and appeared to go up to the base of the beak, not somewhat broken and thin like a Northern.  When it was perched it had its back slightly to me in profile so I couldn’t seen the breast clearly but it appeared unbarred and clear from the sides.  The head appeared large in relation to the rounded body.  What struck me most is that the back and top of the head was much bluer gray rather than the steel gray I associate with a Northern.  Thus, the overall impression of this bird is that of a Loggerhead Shrike. 


      I contacted Andy about the sighting and he said the following:


      “Pumphouse Road and adjacent Toppenish NWR shrub-steppe in winter has had a good number of Loggerhead Shrikes over the years. It is probably the single best area at that season for the species in WA. Though rare, it certainly is not unexpected. eBird shows it as rare, not because it's not possible, but because its presence anywhere in WA in winter is of pretty high interest.”


      Jeff Kozma


      Yakima (Terrace Heights)