Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor (aka Northern Shrike)
4 December 2013
There is a large shopping plaza at the intersection of Winston Churchill Boulevard and Argentia Road in Mississauga, ON, a location devoid of charm, featuring the motley assembly of big box stores one has come to expect in this era of shopping without character. It is in such locations that Black Friday manifests itself in all its ugliness.
The only bit of vegetation left is that beneath the high transmission lines at the back of the buildings, running like a ribbon adjacent to Highway 401 (the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway).
It was a great surprise to find a Great Grey Shrike there. The bird was moving from one perch to another, periodically going to ground to capture some kind of prey, I assume. This species is a rare straggler and winter resident throughout southern Ontario, and it is always quite special to locate one.