Lanius borealis - Vieillot, 1808
Northern Shrike
Synonym(s): Lanius excubitor Linnaeus, 1758
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lanius excubitor Linnaeus, 1758 (TSN 178511)
French Common Names: pie-grièche grise
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.1009746
Element Code: ABPBR01040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Perching Birds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Passeriformes Laniidae Lanius
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). Chesser, R.T., K.J. Burns, C. Cicero, J.L. Dunn, A.W. Kratter, I.J. Lovette, P.C. Rasmussen, J.V. Remsen, Jr., J.D. Rising, D.F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2017. Fifty-eighth Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 134:751-773.
Concept Reference Code: A17AOU01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Lanius borealis
Taxonomic Comments: Formerly considered conspecific with L. excubitor Linnaeus, 1758 [Great Gray Shrike], but treated as separate on the basis of differences in plumage and mtDNA (Johnsen et al. 2010, Olsson et al. 2010, Peer et al. 2011). Lanius borealis is more closely related to L. ludovicianus, L. meridionalis (Temminck, 1820) [Southern Gray Shrike], and L. sphenocercus (Cabanis, 1873) [Chinese Gray Shrike] than to the nominate excubitor group (Olsson et al. 2010) (AOU 2017).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 03Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5B,N5N,N5M (04Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alaska (S4B,S4N), Arizona (S2N), California (SNRN), Colorado (S5N), Idaho (S3N), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (S1S2N), Iowa (S4N), Kansas (SNA), Maine (S2S3N), Massachusetts (S4N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRN), Missouri (SNA), Montana (S5N), Navajo Nation (S3S4N), Nebraska (S4N), Nevada (S4?N), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (SNA), New Mexico (S4N), New York (SNRN), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNRN), Oregon (S4N), Pennsylvania (S2S3N), South Dakota (S3N), Texas (SNA), Utah (SNA), Vermont (S3N), Washington (S4N), Wisconsin (SNA), Wyoming (S5N)
Canada Alberta (S5M), British Columbia (S4S5B,S4N), Labrador (S4B,SUM), Manitoba (S2S3B,S4N), New Brunswick (S4N,S4M), Newfoundland Island (S3N,SUM), Northwest Territories (S4S5B), Nova Scotia (S3S4N), Nunavut (SUB,SUM), Ontario (SNA), Prince Edward Island (SNA), Quebec (S4B), Saskatchewan (S1B,S4N), Yukon Territory (S3B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Breeds in North America from western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon, northwestern and southern Northwest Territories, and southwestern Kivalliq south to southern Alaska (west to the Alaska Peninsula), northwestern British Columbia, northern Alberta, northern Manitoba, northern Ontario, northern and central Quebec, and southern Labrador, and in the Old World west to western Siberia and south to extreme northwestern China, the Russian Altai, the Russian Tien Shan, northern Mongolia, and Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. Winters in North America from central Alaska and the
southern portions of the breeding range in Canada, Minnesota, and northwestern Wisconsin south (irregularly) to northern California, central Nevada, northern Arizona, central New Mexico, northern Texas, northwestern Oklahoma, Kansas, central Missouri, northern Illinois, central Indiana, northern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, casually to the central Aleutians, south to the southern parts of California, Arizona, and New Mexico, to northern Texas, Arkansas, northern Tennessee, North Carolina, and Bermuda, and in Eurasia in the southern parts of the breeding range, northeastern China, uncommonly through Japan to Kyushu, and casually to eastern Europe and Norway.

Short-term Trend Comments: See Yosef (1994) for a brief discussion of various increasing, declining, and stable populations in Eurasia.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Breeds in North America from western and northern Alaska, northern Yukon, northwestern and southern Northwest Territories, and southwestern Kivalliq south to southern Alaska (west to the Alaska Peninsula), northwestern British Columbia, northern Alberta, northern Manitoba, northern Ontario, northern and central Quebec, and southern Labrador, and in the Old World west to western Siberia and south to extreme northwestern China, the Russian Altai, the Russian Tien Shan, northern Mongolia, and Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. Winters in North America from central Alaska and the
southern portions of the breeding range in Canada, Minnesota, and northwestern Wisconsin south (irregularly) to northern California, central Nevada, northern Arizona, central New Mexico, northern Texas, northwestern Oklahoma, Kansas, central Missouri, northern Illinois, central Indiana, northern Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, casually to the central Aleutians, south to the southern parts of California, Arizona, and New Mexico, to northern Texas, Arkansas, northern Tennessee, North Carolina, and Bermuda, and in Eurasia in the southern parts of the breeding range, northeastern China, uncommonly through Japan to Kyushu, and casually to eastern Europe and Norway.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AZ, CA, CO, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TX, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK, YT

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ID Ada (16001), Adams (16003), Bannock (16005), Bear Lake (16007), Benewah (16009), Bingham (16011), Blaine (16013), Boise (16015), Bonner (16017), Bonneville (16019), Boundary (16021), Butte (16023), Camas (16025), Canyon (16027), Caribou (16029), Cassia (16031), Clark (16033), Clearwater (16035), Custer (16037), Elmore (16039), Fremont (16043), Gem (16045), Gooding (16047), Idaho (16049), Jefferson (16051), Jerome (16053), Kootenai (16055), Latah (16057), Lemhi (16059), Lincoln (16063), Madison (16065), Minidoka (16067), Nez Perce (16069), Oneida (16071), Owyhee (16073), Payette (16075), Power (16077), Shoshone (16079), Teton (16081), Twin Falls (16083), Valley (16085), Washington (16087)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
16 Central Bear (16010102)+, Bear Lake (16010201)+, Middle Bear (16010202)+, Curlew Valley (16020309)+
17 Lower Kootenai (17010104)+, Moyie (17010105)+, Lower Clark Fork (17010213)+, Pend Oreille Lake (17010214)+, Priest (17010215)+, Pend Oreille (17010216)+, Upper Coeur D'alene (17010301)+, Coeur D'alene Lake (17010303)+, St. Joe (17010304)+, Upper Spokane (17010305)+, Hangman (17010306)+, Idaho Falls (17040201)+, Upper Henrys (17040202)+, Lower Henrys (17040203)+, Teton (17040204)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Blackfoot (17040207)+, Portneuf (17040208)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Raft (17040210)+, Upper Snake-Rock (17040212)+, Beaver-Camas (17040214)+, Medicine Lodge (17040215)+, Birch (17040216)+, Little Lost (17040217)+, Big Lost (17040218)+, Big Wood (17040219)+, Camas (17040220)+, Little Wood (17040221)+, C. J. Idaho (17050101)+, Bruneau (17050102)+, Middle Snake-Succor (17050103)+, Jordan (17050108)+, Boise-Mores (17050112)+, South Fork Boise (17050113)+, Lower Boise (17050114)+, Middle Snake-Payette (17050115)+, Middle Fork Payette (17050121)+, Payette (17050122)+, North Fork Payette (17050123)+, Weiser (17050124)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Palouse (17060108)+, Upper Salmon (17060201)+, Middle Salmon-Panther (17060203)+, Lemhi (17060204)+, Lower Salmon (17060209)+, South Fork Clearwater (17060305)+, Clearwater (17060306)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Breeding begins mid-late May (Harrison 1978). Clutch size is 2-9 (usually 4-6). Incubation is done mainly by female (Terres 1980). Young are tended by both adults, leave nest 20 days after hatching, independent in 10 more days. Single brooded (E. Atkinson, pers. comm.).
Ecology Comments: On breeding grounds, foraging home range estimated to be 130 hectares (Cade 1967). In Idaho, winter territory size was 55-357 hectares (mean 216 hectares), with a main core area (over one-half of activity) averaging 50 hectares (Atkinson 1993).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Mostly a long-distance migrant; breeding and winter ranges overlap in southern Alaska and northwestern Canada.
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Old field, Savanna, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Open deciduous or coniferous woodland, taiga, thickets, bogs, and scrub; in migration and winter, also open situations with scattered trees and cultivated lands (AOU 2017).
Adult Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Carnivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds on mice, voles, small birds, snakes, lizards, and frogs; also eats a wide variety of insects. In Idaho in winter, small mammals were the most important prey; also ate many arthropods and some birds (Atkinson and Cade 1993). Usually sits on an exposed perch and watches for prey.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 25 centimeters
Weight: 66 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Passerines

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Nest Site, Nesting Colony
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.

Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas.

For swallows and other species that have separate nesting and foraging areas, separations are based on nest sites or nesting areas, not to locations of foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap larger than the separation distance are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas. This separation procedure is appropriate because nesting areas are the critical aspect of swallow breeding occurrences, tend to be relatively stable or at least somwhat predictable in general location, and so are the basis for effective conservation; foraging areas are much more flexible and not necessarily static.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by tens of kilometers (e.g., Moore and Dolbeer 1989), and increasing evidence that individuals leave their usual home range to engage in extrapair copulations, as well as long foraging excursions of some species, make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for songbirds and flycatchers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart. Mean foraging radius (from nesting area) of Brown-headed Cowbird females was 4.0 kilometers in California, 1.2 kilometers in Illinois-Missouri (Thompson 1994). Yellow-headed Blackbirds, Brewer's Blackbirds, and probably Red-winged Blackbirds all forage up to 1.6 kilometers away from breeding colony (Willson 1966, Horn 1968). In one study, Brewer's Blackbirds were found as far as 10 kilometers from nesting area (Williams 1952), but this may be unusual.

For swallows and other parrerines with similar behavioral ecology, separation distance pertains to nest sites or nesting colonies, not to locations of foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas. This separation procedure is appropriate because nesting areas are the critical aspect of swallow breeding occurrences, tend to be relatively stable or at least somwhat predictable in general location, and so are the basis for effective conservation; foraging areas are much more flexible and not necessarily static.

Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.

Unsuitable habitat: Habitat not normally used for breeding/feeding by a particular species. For example, unsuitable habitat for grassland and shrubland birds includes forest/woodland, urban/suburban, and aquatic habitats. Most habitats would be suitable for birds with versatile foraging habits (e.g., most corvids).

Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Roost Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: For most passerines: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating individuals (including historical) and potential recurring presence at a given location; minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat.

For swallows: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical) and potential recurring presence at a given location; minimally a reliable observation of 100 birds in appropriate habitat (e.g., traditional roost sites).

Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually.

EOs should not be described for species that are nomadic during nonbreeding season: e.g., Lark Bunting.

Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary but intended to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.

For swallows and other species with similar behavioral ecology, the separation distance pertains to communal roost sites rather than to foraging areas; the former tend to be more stable and specific over time than the latter.

Date: 03Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Foraging Area, Roost Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Any area used traditionally in the nonbreeding season (used for populations that are not resident in a location year-round). Minimally, reliable observations of 10 or more individuals in appropriate habitat for 20 or more days at a time. For G1-G3 species, observations of fewer individuals could constitute an occurrence of conservation value. Sites used during migration should be documented under the 'migratory stopover' location use class.

Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance is necessarily arbitrary but attempts to balance the high mobility of birds with the need for occurrences of reasonable spatial scope. Note that a population's roost sites and foraging areas are parts of the same occurrence, even if they are more than 5 km apart.

For swallows and other species with similar behavioral ecology, the separation distance pertains to communal roost sites rather than to foraging areas; the former tend to be more stable and specific over time than the latter.

Date: 03Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.

Use Class: Nonmigratory
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a particular location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in or near appropriate habitat.

These occurrence specifications are used for nonmigratory populations of passerine birds.

Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Significant dispersal and associated high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by tens of kilometers (e.g., Moore and Dolbeer 1989), and increasing evidence that individuals leave their usual home range to engage in extrapair copulations, as well as long foraging excursions of some species, make it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for songbirds and flycatchers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and breeding-season foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart. Blue jays have small summer home ranges but fly up to 4 kilometers to harvest mast (Tarvin and Woolfenden 1999). Flocks of pinyon jays range over 21-29 square kilometers (Ligon 1971, Balda and Bateman 1971); nesting and foraging areas may be widely separated. Tricolored blackbirds forage in flocks that range widely to more than 15 kilometers from the nesting colony (Beedy and Hamilton 1999).

Unsuitable habitat: Habitat not normally used for breeding/feeding by a particular species. For example, unsuitable habitat for grassland and shrubland birds includes forest/woodland, urban/suburban, and aquatic habitats. Most habitats would be suitable for birds with versatile foraging habits (e.g., most corvids).

Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Notes: These specs pertain to nonmigratory species.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 23May1994
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

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Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

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