Birds of Indian Subcontinent

An Apparent Case of Cooperative Hunting in Immature Northern Shrikes

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2005
Authors:Hannah, KC
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:2005
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Emberizidae, Laniidae, Lanius, Lanius borealis, Lanius excubitor, Lanius meridionalis, Lanius pallidirostris, Passer montanus, Passerella, Passerella arborea, Spizella, Spizella arborea
Abstract:Cooperative hunting is a behavior rarely observed in passerine birds. I observed two immature Northern Shrikes (Lanius excubitor invictus) apparently hunting cooperatively while preying on American Tree Sparrows (Spizella arborea) in central Alaska. During each of three foraging attempts, both shrikes appeared to work together to flush prey from dense cover into the open where it was then pursued. Cooperative hunting in this otherwise solitary species may be an adaptive behavior among inexperienced birds to increase their foraging efficiency, or to compensate for seasonal fluctuations in the accessibility or availability of prey.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith