I have an arctic visitor! Yesterday (Feb, 24) I was outside preparing
to go snowshoeing when I heard a song I didn't think I'd heard before.
When I located the bird it was high up in a birch tree along side the
road. Looking up from below I could see the gray-ish white belly,
black tail and stubby thick beak. When the bird looked down at me I
could see the eye mask as well. He (or she, since the Cornell lab of
Ornithology tells me they both sing) was singing his little heart out.
When the bird flew to a maple in my driveway I could tell the wings
were black too. Luckly the bird must've been quite happy in the maple
because I had time to come inside and find the sound file for the
Northern Shrike (Cornell again: ) When I went outside the bird was
still singing and calling and definately sounds the same.
This morning the shrike was still in the area. I didn't get a very
good look though because the Blue Jays are onto him and keep chasing
him from tree to tree. Oddly, the little birds like my chickadees