I came home this evening to quite a thrill. Perched atop my Eastern most feeder, just a few feet from my window, sat a Northern Shrike-my first sighting in many decades of birding. Now it is clear why my Chickadees have been scarce in the last few days-they value their life. These fellows are the size of a smaller Blue Jay and until I noticed the eye stripe, thought at first I had a Gray Jay. Here is the description from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Online:
"A predatory songbird, the Northern Shrike breeds in the taiga and tundra and winters in Southern Canada and the Northern United States. It feeds on small birds, mammals, and insects, sometimes impaling them on the spines or barbed wire fences."
"It appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direst arguments against christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds which follows from the advance of science."