Northern Shrike

Lanius excubitor

Northern Shrikes are exceedingly rare vagrants to the Bering Sea so it is not surprising that there are only two Pribilof records. The first Saint Paul record was of a bird found on the airport fence in late November. The second sighting was of a bird sitting along the road to Marunich on September 27, 2004. As both records fall outside the tour season and the majority of the other Bering Sea records are also in winter it is possible that the species is more regular than is currently thought. With the exception of the Chinese Shrike, all Asian shrikes have russet or brown tones on their flanks or backs. Chinese Shrike, although admittedly a long-shot to reach the Pribilofs can be safely identified by their full white wingbar through the primaries and secondaries, dark gray rump, and large size. Shrikes could potentially show up anywhere on the island and, if the 2004 bird is in any way typical, are impossible to relocate once found.


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