Shrike or Shriek

Loggerhead-ShrikePaying homage this Halloween I will howl one of nature’s prettiest and deadliest masked predators.  If you and your children are out in suburbs or rural flat-lands costumed to the max trick-or-treating, leave your pet insect or little pet reptile safely at home!  There is a little cute bird out that would cast nicely into even the most horrific Stephen King movie.  I do not speak of your typical vampire bats or Edgar Allen Poe’s raven.  The Aves Lanius, better known as the “butcher bird” or Shrike, impales and proudly displays its victims out in the open for all to see; well, sort of.  But do not let the Shrike’s dainty behavior or harsh song fool you.  When it is on the hunt, its killer instinct can rival many a Jurassic carnivore.

Beware!  And don’t dress-up as an alien grasshopper or mousy-looking short-eared rabbit…or else!

These birds are remarkably conniving and sinister.  They hunt insects of all sizes, mice, lizards; even small birds are not safe in their lethal beaks.  Then, as if the gruesome scene had been meticulously planned, their crazed serial-killer DNA find the nearest meat-hook to impale their meal…or worse, merely for show to attract a mate!

Now I ask you, what better scarier freakier creature is more suited for Halloween?

Many Shrikes do not possess the strength in their talons like a true raptor.  However, this little cold-blooded killer does possess a strong hooked bill to grip the flesh, and a notch or tooth at its tip in order to sever the spinal-cord of its captive.  When it is ready to prepare the brutal feast, it will push the prey down a thorn or barbed-wire and as the video above shows, begin ripping into the victim’s flesh.  I ask has this bird been watching any of the movie-series Saw and its sequels.  Or perhaps those movies and others are inspired by this natural ornithological predator.

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I know this, my squeamish stomach has never liked Hollywood blood and gore during Halloween or anytime of the year.  Hell, in the first Halloween movie I almost lost it when Michael hung that man on the kitchen wall with the large cooking knife!  I can sort of handle the Shrike’s behavior; it is a matter of survival and continuation of the species.  And isn’t that genetic-wiring in many species here on Earth…including humans?  Ahhhhhhhh!

Care to share your homage to Halloween?  Shrike or shriek…who or what is your scary Halloween tale?

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halloween bird and lantern

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