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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Jacky hangman / Fiscal shrike.

While walking yesterday afternoon I came across this scarab beetle spiked on the barbed wire. This is the work of a Fiscal shrike, also known here as a Jacky hangman.

Before barbed wire the shrike would spike it's victims on a sharp thorn, still do, but they don't scorn modern technology when it's handy. 

Must have taken quite a bit of force to get the barb through the beetles hard shell. The bird remembers where his victims are spiked and if hunting has been bad, he has some jerky waiting for him.

The culprit, a small, but very handsome bird. It's victims include insects, small lizards, fledgling birds, in fact anything it can catch. The black mask looks a lot like that of old time executioners

Photo: Internet.


Jo said...

What a find that beetle is. Poor thing had to die a slow death. The Fiscal shrike normally has an area of 100 sq meters as its turf and will always find its food intact when it returns to the pantry. It's such a neat bird and a good subject as it sits still for ages while you photograph it. Love and blessings, Jo

Pumice said...

Now THAT is interesting. This is totally new to me.

Grace and peace.