Shrike - Behaviour

Behaviour

Shrikes are known for their habit of catching insects and small vertebrates and impaling their bodies on thorns. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently-sized fragments, and serves as a cache so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time. This same behavior of impaling insects serves as an adaptation to eating the toxic lubber grasshopper (Romalea guttata). The bird waits for 1–2 days for the toxins within the grasshopper to degrade, and then can eat it.

Shrikes are territorial, and these territories are defended from other pairs. In migratory species a breeding territory is defended in the breeding grounds and a smaller feeding territory is established during migration and in the wintering grounds. Where several species of shrike exist together competition for territories can be intense.

Shrikes make regular use of exposed perch sites, where they adopt a conspicuous upright stance. These sites are used in order to watch for prey items and to advertise their presence to rivals.

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Famous quotes containing the word behaviour:

    When we read of human beings behaving in certain ways, with the approval of the author, who gives his benediction to this behaviour by his attitude towards the result of the behaviour arranged by himself, we can be influenced towards behaving in the same way.
    —T.S. (Thomas Stearns)

    The methodological advice to interpret in a way that optimizes agreement should not be conceived as resting on a charitable assumption about human intelligence that might turn out to be false. If we cannot find a way to interpret the utterances and other behaviour of a creature as revealing a set of beliefs largely consistent and true by our standards, we have no reason to count that creature as rational, as having beliefs, or as saying anything.
    Donald Davidson (b. 1917)

    The quality of moral behaviour varies in inverse ratio to the number of human beings involved.
    Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)