We began a study on Loggerhead Shrikes (Lanius ludovicianus) in 2006. The purpose of this study was to determine seasonal Shrike presence within our study area in central New Mexico. Since that time we have accumulated data to determined habitat preferences, identify nesting Shrikes, determine nesting productivity, and classify nesting substrate characteristics.
Throughout the North American range, the Loggerhead Shrike has aroused serious concern because of its declining numbers. Many species’ decline is quite often attributed to loss or degradation of habitat, but since these shrikes are declining across their range, this suggests that there may be other factors. Now we have completed our sixth year of study and we will begin to see some trend information and perhaps determine other factors affecting nest success and mortality rates that could cause declines. In 2009 we started a banding effort to gain reliable information of population movement and year-round residency. Ongoing banding data will provide us with more clues as to population shifts and more importantly documentation of breeding birds returning to former territories (or staying in or near them year-round). To date, 30 shrikes have been banded.