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Feeding Alligator Lizard

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Feeding Alligator Lizard

JPG Raster, 14.73 MB

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Photo Comments

Donald E Waite
3 years 10 months ago

Trip to Burns, Oregon, with David R. James & Damon S. Calderwood – 20 May – 23 June 2006.
Photography of Loggerhead Shrikes
4 – 6 eggs
– 11 June – young just hatched
The nest, located in sage 4 feet off the ground, was made of twigs lined with feathers and snake skin.
18 June 2006 – I spend from 9 to 5 at the nest and on one occasion a parent rammed a 4-5″ Alligator Lizard whole down the throat of one of the babies. It must have made up 25 % of the babies’ body weight.
The parents also brought in morsels of voles or mice. Sometimes after cutting up a vole or mouse on a “butcher block” on a tree branch behind the blind, they made visits with pieces of meat every 2-3 minutes. Quite often both parents were at the nest at the same time. They also fed grasshoppers and butterflies. The nest was very tidy as the parents always removed the fecal sacs. The parents also ate any food pellets regurgitated by the babies.
Because of the “ticket” I’d received for photographing the Mountain Bluebird (see Discussion), I invited the District Biologist from Burns to come out and take a turn with me photographing the shrike. Everything went well and he told me that he would support my application for a permit to photograph birds at the nest. Unfortunately, no such permit existed.