Bonnie Heidy and I went to see the Northern Shrike at Whetstone Creek CA, Callaway County (near Williamsburg along I-70).

We found it  a little after noon in the same open area described by those who went earlier.  It was south of the east-west road, on the power lines that run diagonally NW/SE across the road just before (east of) the turn into the area headquarters.  It was quite tolerant of our observations (binocs, then scope outside car), actually moving more toward us along the line.  As we were leaving the headquarters area, we spotted it a second time in the lone, partially brown-needled pine that is just west of the hdq. area.  As we left about 1:30, it was back in the original area on the line.

A note about Northern Shrike behavior.  Old timers often noted that Loggerhead Shrikes will sit on utility lines; Northern Shrikes will be in tree tops or atop utility poles, but never on the lines.  A couple of old timers--very, very good birders--were shocked to see the Northern Shrike at Thomas Hill some years back sitting on a utility line bobbing its tail in typical NSHR fashion.

The bird today was doing the same--sitting on the utility line, bobbing its tail now and then.  The same comment (never on a utility line) was cited by old timers for Merlins, saying their toes could not grasp the thin lines.  Yet, it recent years, we've seen many Merlins on utility lines.

Maybe lines are of greater circumference now.  Whatever the reason, we are seeing both Northern Shrikes and Merlins routinely using utility lines.

Full report on CACHE.

Stay warm, stay dry,

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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