Northern Shrike in Winter

Northern shrike perched on the top of a tree
Northern shrike. Photo by Joe Becker.

Appearance: Northern shrike is a medium-sized bird about 9.5″ long. They’re gray with white bellies, black wingtips & tails, and a black mask that extends from each eye back to the ear area. Their short bill is notched at the end. Females are the same. Immature northern shrikes are browner.

Winter Diet: Birds, and small mammals.

Winter feeder food: They may show up at the feeder to hunt feeder birds!

Winter habitat: Northern shrikes prefer the northern tundra regions, especially where the thick forest meets the tundra. They also are found in open areas.

Migration: Northern shrikes are migrators. In the winter they migrate south into the northern and western US states, southern Alaska, and Canada’s northern provinces.

Range Map

Northern shrike range map.
Northern shrike range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.